MINI Countryman Electric confirmed, to launch in 2023 [Update]

  • Could debut on the same day as the next-gen MINI Countryman in 2023
  • Will compete with the Volvo XC40 Recharge, Mercedes EQA, and smart #1
  • Expected to deliver a WLTP range of up to around 311 miles
  • Could be offered in the U.S. where MINI currently sells the Cooper SE EV

Update: ‘Design & Interior’ section updated and ‘TopElectricSUV says’ section added.

The new MINI Countryman will be the third generation of the British brand’s largest model and will grow into a proper SUV, spawning the first-ever MINI Countryman Electric.

Design & Interior

The next-gen MINI Countryman, including its electric variant, will draw inspiration from the MINI Aceman concept. This concept is a preview of a future MINI crossover positioned between the Hatch (Cooper) and the Countryman. It debuts a new design language for the MINI brand, called “Charismatic Simplicity.”

MINI Countryman Electric rendition
TopElectricSUV’s render of the MINI Countryman Electric captures the styling and design of the SUV as observed in recent test prototypes. We notice the larger greenhouse and the longer wheelbase which are represented in our illustration.

The next-gen Countryman will retain the retro-style look, featuring an angular hexagonal grille, rectangular main light cluster, cleaner bumper design, and subtler lower grille. The increase in size is evident from the larger doors and rear quarter glass.

On October 26, 2022, automotive journalist Greg Kable shared a new spy shot (embedded above) of the next-gen Countryman on the road. Like previous pictures, it indicated an evolutionary design and a longer body for the next-gen model. MINI has used new, flush-fitting door handles for a more streamlined airflow and improved efficiency. At the rear, the spy picture shows a relocated license plate area on the redesigned model (bumper instead of tailgate).

Interior spy shots indicate a familiar look but with subtle changes like a slimmer dashboard, larger touchscreen infotainment system, old-school toggle switchgear in the center console, horizontal outer-end AC vents, and a new two-spoke steering wheel.

Dimensions

Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, and Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, have confirmed that the MINI Countryman will grow moving to its third generation, CNET reported on July 28, 2022. The customer feedback is that the crossover could be slightly bigger, Heilmer said. For reference, the Mk2 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.

According to an older report Autocar published in March 2021, the next-gen MINI Countryman will measure at least 4.5 meters 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 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 report Autocar filed in March 2022 had said that the next-gen Countryman could have a 200 mm (7.9-inch) longer wheelbase (current model: 2,670 mm or 105.1 inches). While making more room for passengers and luggage, increasing the length between the axles would make room for a large battery pack under the cabin floor comfortably and thus allow offering a competitive range. That said, engineers wouldn’t shove in a 100 kWh pack, like in the iX, as that would drive the cost up considerably.

In 2020, Bernd Körber, the then-head of MINI, had told Auto Express that the Countryman will move half a segment above with the redesign for its third generation and start belonging to the BMW X1 class (compact or C). While the Countryman will grow moving to its next generation, the hatchback (next-gen MINI Cooper Electric) will see a reduction in exterior dimensions. This will create enough space for the Aceman concept-derived MINI Paceman successor.

Alloy wheels made with 100% green power

The next-gen Countryman will be BMW Group’s first model to adopt light-alloy cast wheels made from 70% secondary aluminum in 2023. Compared to conventional production processes, combining 100% green power for making these wheels and using 70% secondary raw material content in the process can reduce CO2 emissions. From 2024, BMW Group will cast aluminum wheels made with 100% green power in all MINI (and BMW) models. This is one of the various measures the company has taken to reduce emissions throughout the BMW Group Supplier network by 20% from 2019 levels by the end of the decade.

Platform & Range

The next-gen MINI Countryman will be based 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.

The two-year-old Volvo XC40 Recharge offers a range of 422 km (264 miles)*, while the Mercedes EQA that debuted in January 2021 can now travel 531 km (330 miles)* on a full charge. For competitiveness, the MINI Countryman Electric also should achieve a maximum range of around 500 km (311 miles)* in the range-focused configurations. We expect the Countryman EV in single and dual-motor configurations, with the highest specification featuring the iX1’s 64.7 kWh battery pack.

*In the WLTP cycle

MINI Countryman Electric production

2023 MINI Countryman electric production
The MINI Countryman BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) will be manufactured at the BMW Group’s Leipzig plant in Germany. Image: BMW Group Investor Presentation (April 2022).

In November 2020, BMW Group announced that the third-gen MINI Countryman range would encompass a MINI Countryman EV. The BMW Group Plant Leipzig (Germany) will be the mother plant of both the next-gen MINI Countryman and the first-ever MINI Countryman electric, with the production of the new generation cars beginning in 2023.

The Countryman is the second highest-selling MINI model worldwide, with 82,363 units sold in 2021. Its contribution to the brand’s sales volume could be more significant with the added space and the introduction of an electric powertrain in the third generation.

MINI is going all-electric

Of the three BMW Group brands, 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 to 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

MINI Countryman electric release 2023 map
BMW Group’s E-Mobility Roadmap confirms the launch of the MINI Countryman electric SUV in 2023. Unlike crossovers like the Megane E-Tech or the Ioniq 5, it won’t ride on a dedicated EV platform. Image: BMW Group Investor Presentation (April 2022)

BMW Group aims to convert at least half of its annual sales to pure electric vehicles by 2030. The company will expand the BEV portfolio to 13 vehicles by the end of 2023, with which the company projects covering about 90% of its current market segments. The MINI Countryman electric would be among the final models in this launch cadence.

When BMW Group delivered an iX xDrive40 as its one-millionth electrified vehicle in December 2021, it reaffirmed that a new-generation Countryman is in the pipeline. The company mentioned the next-gen Countryman between a bunch of its future electric models, indicating that it was specifically talking about the SUV’s electric version.

Over the next year, the BMW Group will expand its electrified product line-up to include fully-electric versions of the BMW 7 Series and BMW X1. The high-volume BMW 5 Series will be added to the electric portfolio in 2023. The successor to the MINI Countryman and the all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre will follow.

BMW Group – One-millionth electrified vehicle delivery (December 7, 2021)

Until 2025, BMW Group plans to increase sales of its BEVs by an average of 50% from the current level. By around the beginning of the next decade, it estimates a cumulative BEV sales figure of approximately ten million units.

TopElectricSUV says

The MINI Countryman Electric, derived from the brand’s largest model, will likely be a premium compact electric SUV with a chic design, loads of space, and a price that doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket like BMW’s iX1. The Countryman Electric will be the brand’s most practical model and allow traveling more comfortably and at lower running costs than the gas-powered Countryman.

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 to order in Europe in the second half of 2023.

Which are rivals to the MINI Countryman EV?

The MINI Countryman Electric will rival the likes of the Smart #1, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and Mercedes EQA.

Featured Image Source: TopElectricSUV’s render of the MINI Countryman Electric