The next generation models of the Mini range will not only grow but need to ensure profitability and sustainability, with electrified models doubling their share of sales by next year, head of Mini Bernd Korber told Company Car Today.
A re-sizing of the Mini range and a brand new baby SUV are already planned, while the Clubman and Cabriolet versions are under consideration for the future.
The next generation of Mini Countryman will grow in size, sharing its underpinnings with the BMW X1, and be available with a choice of fully electric power or internal combustion engines. As the Countryman model grows, an all-new smaller SUV will slot into the range between the five-door hatchback and the larger Countryman.
Plug-in hybrid models will eventually be dropped from the Mini line-up as improvements in battery efficiency will make them less relevant for typical Mini owners, said Korber, although that won’t happen in the near future, with the next generation of the crossover model confirmed to have a PHEV variant.
Internal combustion engines, including diesel engines on the next Countryman SUV, will continue in the Mini range for the next decade and the concept of Mini as an electric-only brand won’t be considered until at least 2030.
Developing the future Mini portfolio will see the three-door Mini become slightly smaller and the John Cooper Works models develop into a sub-brand – possibly as one of the first electric-only performance brands. However, Korber promises that all models will still have an easily recognisable Mini face with a new styling direction – as shown by a forthcoming new concept car that will be unveiled soon.
The first electric Mini, a three-door hatchback, was launched early this year, joining the plug-in hybrid Countryman model that is a well-established part of the line-up.
The Mini Electric offers a range of up to 145 miles from its 32.6kWh battery, and 184hp of power.