Mini of the future: British marque unveil new electric concept
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You can tell that Frankfurt is just around the corner by virtue of the shiny new cars raining from the heavens. Yesterday BMW showcased their new i3, Bentley revealed their Continental GT overnight, and now Mini have thrown the covers off their new electric concept — rather creatively named the Mini Electric Concept.
The rather radical looking thing previews Mini's fully electric production version that's due in 2019, though this isn't the manufacturer's first rodeo. Back in 2008 they released the Mini E; a demonstration EV that helped Mini and BMW further develop electric technology. By the looks, Mini's turn to reap those benefits are finally upon us.
Mini are still tight lipped on the numbers that the new car can generate, let alone the kind of technology the car's powertrain will center around. The old one could run for 240km on a single charge, but bear in mind that 11 years have passed. 11 years of research and development. Expect the real numbers to eclipse those ones once they become public. Apart from that, Mini's only real statement on the car's performance is to say that it's responsive, and still drives like a go-kart.
So what's the point of releasing an EV concept, but not showcasing the numbers? Well, the easy money suggests that Mini are testing the waters on what the next-gen car will look like, and just how many of their concept design elements will survive the cutting-room floor.
Some parts, like the corny union jacks concealed in the taillights and the aggressive front splitter, seem a bit extreme. But, the rest of it could well be the next Mini. The asymmetrical wheels, futuristic front grill, and integrated DRLs in particular take what is now quite an old shape into the here and now.
Keep an eye on Driven for our full coverage of the Frankfurt Motor Show.