Mini’s next-generation electric hatchback will offer more range and more power than the current model.
Autocar reports it’ll launch in May 2024, and will be badged Mini Cooper, dropping the Hatch moniker that punters typically didn’t use anyway.
The unrelated combustion-powered Cooper will reportedly follow in July 2024, with the two small cars bookended by the German-built Countryman (due February 2024) and Chinese-built electric Aceman crossover (January 2025).
The electric Cooper will be built by Great Wall Motor and be underpinned by the new Spotlight EV platform, while the combustion Cooper will continue to be built in Oxford in the UK.
The latter will also reportedly be offered in five-door hatchback and two-door convertible guise, though a next-generation droptop EV is reportedly planned. The convertible EV special edition of the current model therefore serves as a prelude.
The electric Cooper will reportedly have a wider track, shorter front overhang, larger wheels and longer wheelbase than the current three-door Mini Hatch, though it will remain 3.8m long.
The E will reportedly offer a 40kWh battery and a 135kW electric motor, and the SE a 54kWh unit and a 160kW electric motor, with range of up to 386km.
That’s a big jump from the 233km figure of the current car, which also features a 135kW/270Nm electric motor and a 32.6kWh battery.
There are reportedly no plans for a dual-motor all-wheel drive variant, though a hot JCW version is coming.
It’ll reportedly arrive in mid-2025 with the larger 54kWh battery and potentially a more powerful electric motor with 186kW of power, and serve as a rival for the Abarth 500e and the Alpine version of the Renault 5.
Mini has developed a “soundtrack” for the next-generation EV, but Mini head Stefanie Wurst told Autocar it won’t use a Hans Zimmer-composed soundtrack as in recent BMW EVs. It’ll change based on the drive mode.
The company has also reportedly developed a new motor controller with the traction control system built in, said to improve handling.
Exterior styling will be evolutionary, but the interior will see a more dramatic change. There will be no instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, while the circular display in the centre stack will incorporate an edge-to-edge OLED display.
Mini is also reportedly focusing on physical switchgear, incorporating an actual ignition key even on electric models, and will employ “funky” projections of information like time and speed on the dashboard for passengers.
As for the combustion Cooper models, they’ll reportedly offer a choice of petrol powertrains but are unlikely to offer a manual transmission option. Instead, an eight-speed automatic transmission will be standard across the range.
Mini is targeting 50 per cent of its sales to be of its EVs by mid-2025. They currently account for 15 per cent of its sales.
Autocar reports the firm is also not pursuing volume at all costs, and instead expects its total production volume to be “just above” that of Land Rover and Porsche.
It also intends to continue offering personalisation options, including the classic Union Jack roof as well as regional customisations.
MORE: Everything Mini Hatch