Next-gen MINI electric SUV to complement the Countryman EV: Report

  • BMW Group's continued upsizing of the MINI brand likely to deliver a new e-SUV
  • New MINI electric SUV to be based on the 800V Neue Klasse platform
  • Will be manufactured in Mexico
  • Could be the most expensive MINI ever, priced close to USD 45,000 in the base configuration

MINI’s name no longer limits BMW Group’s ambitions, as it continues upsizing existing models with every new generation and launching bigger models that devout MINI enthusiasts would not approve of. For those who believed the upcoming Countryman Electric was too big for a MINI, look away now! A new report has said another MINI electric SUV is on the horizon!

Here’s what has been reported on the future MINI SUV:

Neue Klasse Platform

According to a report Automotive News published on April 19, 2023, the future MINI electric SUV will sit on the same platform as the next-gen BMW 3 Series Electric and the next-gen iX3.

Although the size and proportions of this upcoming MINI are undefined by the report, it will be based on BMW’s Neue Klasse platform — a new architecture that’s designed to focus on mid-size electric cars. A new MINI electric SUV bigger than the MINI Countryman Electric would mean a length of 4.5-4.6 meters (177.2-181.1 in.), in the whereabouts of the Genesis GV60.

Among the benefits of the Neue Klasse platform are lighter construction, improved range, faster charging, as well as an increased interior space for the same footprint, as compared to the Cooper SE or the new Countryman EV. The platform will also be compatible with advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity features, featuring the group’s next-gen operating system.

Efficiency-minded design & interior

While the report does not offer details, the MINI Electric SUV should feature the iconic styling that the brand is known for, with enough hints to reflect the electric powertrain under the skin. The front grille, for example, should closed off to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag, while the shape of the vehicle would be more streamlined than traditional MINI EV models which are conversions of the gasoline-powered vehicles.

With recycled materials and eco-friendly fabrics throughout the cabin, the MINI Electric SUV should also reflect the brand’s commitment to sustainability. In the same vein, expect the car to not feature chrome.

Mexican production

BMW Group is considering manufacturing the new MINI electric SUV positioned above the Countryman Electric at the San Luis Potosí plant in Mexico, the same production facility that will roll out the next-gen BMW 3 Series Electric and next-gen BMW iX3. The first of the two Neue Klasse BMW EVs will hit the production line at the North American plant in 2027.

BMW Group wants to ensure that the customers of the MINI electric SUV in the U.S. can take benefit of all the available financial incentives under the Clean Vehicle Credit program. That’s the main motive behind making the model in North America. So, it’s safe to assume the company will ensure it meets all the other requirements of the Clean Vehicle Credit program in addition to conducting the final assembly in North America.

To release around 2028

We expect the Mexican-built MINI electric SUV’s prices to start close to USD 45,000. 2028 could be the targeted year of launch.

TopElectricSUV says

Even though a bigger SUV would drive significant sales and profits, we can argue that it would be a departure from what makes MINI so unique. While fun, nimble handling, and distinctive styling are what the MINI brand truly is about, a largish electric SUV would likely fail to capture the true essence of MINI, leaving fans disappointed and potentially driving them towards other brands that have perfected the mid-size SUV recipe.

For those who don’t mind MINI expanding its horizon and are comfortable with its funky EVs in any size, it would make a great urban cruiser.

Featured Image Source: BMW Group