Mini is bidding to make a big mark in the world of electric cars by launching its next-generation hatchback with an electric version from the off. Previewed by a camouflaged prototype version of the 2023 car in the pictures you see here, the three-door Mini hatchback will also be offered with a conventional engine for those not ready to make the switch to electric.
That’ll be key in ensuring the car remains relevant to a wider audience. Nevertheless, Mini has stated that it’ll be an electric-only brand by the 2030s. The three-door model you see here could be the last to come with an exhaust pipe...
Given this is the week of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and that countries like the United Kingdom have committed to banning the sale of new engine-powered cars by 2035, Mini’s more environmentally-focused future plans are unlikely to come as a surprise. But news that the company will begin to build some of its future models in Germany – where Mini parent company BMW is from – and China, might do. Until you realise that China already accounts for 10% of Mini sales. That number is growing, too.
So, while these pictures suggest the next-generation Mini hatchback and its siblings will still look like Minis, the family of models won’t all be built at the company’s current production centre in Oxford. Some Minis will be Germany or China-made.
Still, something tells us Mini will offer its future models with Union Flags and all of the associated trimmings despite the nationality switch, what with the British-image having served the existing and former cars so well.
Naturally, Mini’s next-generation electric cars will use future iterations of the same sort of battery technology, the details of which remain a secret for now (obviously, given that we’re nearly two years from the three-door’s arrival). But at least we can see that the next hatchback will retain the design quirks of its forebears.
Hopefully, the current car’s fantastic handling and snazzy interior will also provide the inspiration, because they’re both very good. So much so, in fact, that we genuinely reckon the Mini Electric might just be the best handling battery-powered hatchback out there. More details in that video.