BMW Group has reaffirmed that it plans to launch a MINI Countryman Electric in the next generation series. The new MINI Countryman will be the third generation of the British brand’s largest model and will grow into a proper SUV.
MINI Countryman Electric production
In November 2020, BMW Group announced that the third-gen MINI Countryman range would encompass a MINI Countryman Electric. In the group’s annual press conference in March, the company repeated that future full-electric variants include the successor to the MINI Countryman.
The BMW Group Plant Leipzig (Germany) will be the mother plant of both next-gen MINI Countryman and the first-ever MINI Countryman electric, with the production of the new generation cars beginning in 2023. China is likely to get both from a domestic factory of Great Wall Motor through the joint venture company Spotlight Automotive.
The 2023 MINI Countryman will measure bigger than the second-gen model Bernd Körber, Head, MINI, told autoexpress.co.uk in 2020. The Countryman will move half a segment above.
Further, Körber said that the 2023 MINI Countryman will belong to the BMW X1 class (compact or C). For reference, the Mk2 MINI Countryman measures 169.7 inches in length, 71.7 inches in width, and 61.3 inches in height, and has a 105.1-inch wheelbase. While the MINI Countryman will grow moving to its next generation, the MINI hatchback will see a reduction in exterior dimensions. This will create enough space for the rumoured MINI Paceman electric SUV-coupe to join the range.
Prototypes of the MINI Countryman Electric are yet to appear, and so, no details about its design are available yet. It shouldn’t look very different from the next-gen Countryman, though, with changes to the bumpers, grille and wheels.
According to a report Autocar published in March 2021, the next-gen MINI Countryman will measure at least 4.5 metres or 177.2 inches long. That would mark a significant improvement of 0.2 meters or 7.9 inches over the current Euro-spec model, meaning better legroom and knee-room and maybe more cargo volume. The icing on the cake is the character of the MINI Countryman which will also see a major change such that it looks more like an SUV than a crossover.
A new report from Autocar says that the next-gen Countryman could have a 200 mm (7.9-inch) longer wheelbase compared to the current model (2,670 mm or 105.1 inches). In addition to making more room for the interior, increasing the length between the axles would allow packaging a large battery pack under the cabin floor comfortably. We doubt there’s a plan to shove in a large 100 kWh or bigger battery pack, as that would drive the cost up considerably.
Platform & Range
The next-gen MINI Countryman will be baked on the new multi-energy FAAR platform, an updated version of the current model’s UKL platform. This won’t be a skateboard designed only for electric vehicles, as you would find under a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or a Mercedes EQS.
Replacing the Countryman plug-in hybrid electric, the MINI Countryman EV has some big shoes to fill. Körber told Auto Express that he does not see the use case for PHEVs once the range goes above 400 km (250 miles).
The nearly two-year-old Volvo XC40 Recharge offers a range of 418 km (260 miles)*, while the Mercedes EQA that debuted in January 2021 can travel 426 km (265 miles)* on a full charge. Moreover, the latter would gain a variant that can provide a range of more than 500 km (311 miles)* later this year. For competitiveness, the MINI Countryman Electric also should achieve a maximum range of around 500 km (311 miles)*.
*In the WLTP cycle
MINI is going all-electric
Of the three BMW Group brands BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce, MINI will go fully electric first. The German conglomerate has revealed that all MINI models from the early 2030s will run only on electricity. The company plans to cease the development of combustion-engine models in 2025. Even the last combustion engine MINI will have an electrified variant.
MINI will be the first BMW Group brand to go fully electric. MINI is perfect for the city – and for e-mobility. We will be releasing the last model with a combustion-engine variant in 2025. By the early 2030s, MINI will be exclusively fully electric.Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW Group, at the annual conference in March.
Oliver Zipse, Chairman – BoM, BMW Group, reiterated the company’s commitment towards converting MINI into an EV-only brand early next decade during its Q2 2021 earnings conference call.
From the early 2030s, it will be our first all-electric brand – without any disclaimers. Because MINI fans are mainly active in urban spaces.Oliver Zipse, Chairman of BoM, BMW Group (Q2 2021 earnings conference call)
BMW Group E-Mobility Roadmap
BMW Group aims to convert at least half the annual sales to pure electric vehicles by 2030. The company will expand its BEV portfolio to five models by the year-end: BMW i3, BMW iX3, BMW i4, BMW iX, and MINI Cooper SE. The company will increase this number to 13 by the end of 2023, with which the company projects covering about 90% of its current market segments with models like the Mini Minor, BMW iX1, 3 Series EV, 5 Series EV, 7 Series EV, etc. It is at this time that we expect the MINI Countryman electric SUV to arrive in showrooms.
By 2025, BMW Group plans to increase the sales of its BEVs by an average of well over 50% from the current level and will include even niche models such as the 2025 Mini Convertible electric. By around the beginning of the next decade, it estimates a cumulative BEV sales figure of approximately ten million units.
Mini Countryman Electric FAQs
What is the next-gen MINI Countryman release date?
The next-gen MINI Countryman is due in 2023. The electric version should be available in showrooms the same year.
Featured Image Source: BMW Group