MINI’s Electric Concept sets the ball rolling

  • Dreamy styling unlikely to reach production
  • Incorporates futuristic 3D printing
  • Unmistakably a MINI

There’s something rather Ronseal about the MINI Electric Concept’s name, but it leaves us in no doubt exactly what it is. Spoiler alert: this is not the electrified MINI you’ll be able to buy from 2019.

With a model range that’s been completely renewed in the past three years, the next big news for BMW’s style-centric British brand is electrification.

This MINI Electric Concept has inherited the design DNA of its ancestors, but incorporates a handful of stereotypically futuristic elements. Whether they all make it to the production version is unlikely.

MINI finally bites the electric bullet

They’ve been nibbling away at it for a while now. It’s 10 years since BMW dipped a toe in with the MINI E – an electrified version of the third-generation hatch used in public trials – data from which fed into the i3’s development.

MINI edged closer with the Countryman Plug-in Hybrid earlier in 2017, but the forthcoming fully-electric version of the hatch represents the next step.

Harald Kruger, chairman of BMW AG, said: ‘The systematic electrification of MINI is a mainstay of the BMW Group’s strategy.’ Much the same as every other brand then...

The smallest models in MINI’s fleet are due a facelift during 2018, but don’t expect anything dramatic that deviates far from the existing profitable formula. Simply an electric version of one of these nipped and tucked cars.

So we won’t see the concept’s flashier bits?

Styling of the Electric Concept is MINI-ish to say the least, although it’s unlikely that the chamfered wings and bodyside fairings will make it, let alone those Union Flag tail lamps MINI’s teased us with before.

But a blanked-off grille and a peppering of aerodynamic modifications could be adopted for greater differentiation.

The concept’s futuristic in more ways than one in that it incorporates 3D printed elements in the design.

BMW’s hinted that this could potentially lead to unique designs on each car, something that’ll go down well with a client-base fascinated by personalisation.