Mini says using electric powertrains will allow it to reduce the size of its future cars without sacrificing practicality.
During a recent interview with Auto Express, company boss Bernd Koerber said that the presence of a battery pack in the vehicle’s floor and one or more electric motors on the axles will allow Mini to reduce the footprint of its models. This new philosophy could arrive as early as the next-generation Mini hatchback that’ scheduled to launch in 2022.
“I would love to see MINI move back to the essence of clever use of space,” Koerber said. “That means the outer proportions on the core MINI Hatch could be reduced. I can see that happening. The benefit of electrification is that you don’t have to compromise on function. If you fit the battery wisely, you can go smaller but still offer functionality.”
“We are in the process at the moment of looking into how we can make something that fits specifically the requirements of the small car segment,” he added. “We have to see in the next few months what engineering and design can come up with as a solution.”
In July, it was reported that Mini has given the go-ahead to make a production version of the 2011 Rocketman. The study is significantly smaller than any current model in the brand’s range and will allegedly be a battery-electric. This could allow the car manufacturer to retain the same small footprint as the concept while offering interior space more akin to the current Mini hatchback.
Koerber says that any future electric Mini models smaller than the brand’s current vehicles will need to be based on a distinct platform. It remains to be seen where this architecture could come from, with the joint venture BMW has with Chinese carmaker Great Wall being one of the options.