Classic Mini gets electrified as prelude to modern fully electric MINI [w/VIDEO]

With the world premiere of an extraordinary car at the New York International Auto Show this weekend, MINI once again demonstrates its appetite for purely electric driving with a new take on an icon. The Mini Electric combines the historic look of the iconic little car with advanced drive technology for tomorrow’s urban mobility.

The classic Mini Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time, where the story of classic model that was on sale between 1959 and 2000 is extended by a consecutive chapter. The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a ‘sympathetic ambassador’ for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun.

The urban electro-mobility landscape will soon benefit from the arrival of a new MINI model which was previewed as the MINI Electric Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. It is confirmation of a fully electric production MINI – the brand’s first all-electric vehicle which will be unveiled in 2019 – just in time for the 60th anniversary of the classic Mini. The new model is currently in development, based on the 3-Door variant and will be produced for the first time at MINI Plant Oxford next year.

MINI E on display at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010

The BMW Group has spent the 10 years working on an electric MINI, having built around 600 units of the previous generation which were powered by electric motors. The prototypes were known as the MINI E and were used for real-world trials. The MINI E project provided useful information for the development of the BMW i3 launched in 2013.

On the way to a new era in electro mobility, MINI has already taken another step forward. In the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 Plug-In Hybrid model, the combination of a petrol engine with an electric motor provides a system output of 224 bhp. Power is drawn from both sources for enhanced acceleration and there is also a top speed of 125 km/h with just the electric motor being used.

A special version known as the Panamericana has been designed for a long-distance tour from North America to Tierra del Fuego in the southernmost tip of South America. Three units will be driven along the intercontinental route which is the world’s longest north-south road link. With a range of up to 40 kms, it can reach beyond the city limits and remain fully electric on longer routes. The intelligently coordinated interaction of the electric drive with the combustion engine combines the possibility of local emission-free driving with the freedom of a long range offered by a conventionally powered vehicle. The intelligent all-wheel drive system will also enable the cars to traverse all kinds of terrain, including snow-covered mountain passages.

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[Chips Yap]