SPIED: MINI Electric spotted, to get BMW i3S motor?

The MINI brand will once again enter a new era of motoring as it embraces full electric mobility with the upcoming MINI Electric. Spotted for the first time by our European spy photographers is a test mule for the zero-emissions MINI, and it seems to be wearing the current F56 3 Door Hatch’s body shell.

Nevertheless, the MINI Electric Concept was also based on the 3 Door model, and this camouflaged prototype gets a fully blanked-out grille (for better aerodynamics) as seen on the concept. The halogen headlights, fog lamps and tail lights are carryover units, but these will most likely not make it to the production model. Also to note, this test mule doesn’t have exhaust pipes.

We also get a glimpse of the car’s interior for the first time, although the view is limited to the driver’s side of things. While the steering wheel, stalks, head unit and media controls remain the same, the obvious change here is the fitment of a new digital instrument cluster, albeit looking a bit too generic. Expect the production model to get a properly designed instrument cluster, and possibly a fully-digital one at that.

For powertrain, MINI has yet to reveal its electric drivetrain, but word is that the MINI Electric will share the same 184 hp/270 Nm electrical system as the BMW i3S. The all-electric i3S sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 160 km/h, yet features a total cruising range of 280 km.

The warmer i3 uses a 170 hp/250 Nm electric motor and a larger 94 Ah lithium-ion battery to provide up to 300 km of range on the European NEDC cycle, or up to 200 km in real-world usage. The century sprint is done in 7.3 seconds, and it has a top speed of 150 km/h.

Both i3 models are available with an optional 38 hp 647 cc two-cylinder range extender engine that boosts overall range to 330 km. With it, the combined fuel consumption is rated at 0.6 litres per 100 km for the i3 and 0.7 litres per 100 km for the i3S.

The MINI Electric is scheduled to go into production in 2019, and it promises to be “great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use.” This could also mean the start of the brand’s transformation to only deliver electric vehicles. Would you be open to the idea of driving a pure electric MINI?

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