MINI Countryman Electric on its way as production starts this year

MINI has announced that its Leipzig factory will start producing an electric version of its quasi SUV – the MINI Countryman. Piggybacking on the launch of a new, larger Countryman, the MINI will help the brand hold onto customers who might otherwise move to other brands to satisfy their SUV needs.

MINI’s desire to plug a hole in its line-up is made much easier thanks to its BMW ownership, and the new MINI Countryman Electric will share much in common with the BMW X1. Set to be available with either petrol or electric power, the brand has also chopped diesel and PHEV options from its ranks.

So far, we only have the camouflaged images of the new MINI Countryman that you see here, but aside from being larger dimensionally, we can tell that the styling is slightly sharper – that is to say more angular – reflecting the MINI Cooper Electric. The side profile also strikes a far more conventional SUV shape compared to the existing Countryman, but then again MINI is trying to appeal to SUV buyers so it’s little surprise it has neutralised its styling somewhat.

Powertrain-wise, there will be two battery sizes on offer; the 54kWh battery from the Cooper and Aceman and currently MINI’s largest, alongside a new 64kWh unit. There’s no word on range but we’d estimate well over 250 miles to a charge on the larger battery.

Power will come from either the 188bhp motor as found in existing MINI Electric models, or a 268bhp ‘SE’ version. All-wheel drive will be offered for the first time in an electric MINI.

Beyond that, we don’t know much about the new MINI Countryman Electric as a car. However, it does stand out as being the first MINI to be fully ‘made in Germany’, thanks to the tooling up of its Leipzig factory specifically for this expansion of the brand’s electrified range. This is all to help meet demand with 20 per cent of all new MINIs sold now being electrified.

The factory itself has been configured to be sustainable and help each new car to be produced with a reduced carbon footprint. Four wind turbines feed up to 21.9 GWh into the factory and on-site storage made from 700 BMW i3 batteries helps balance demand. Hydrogen gas is also used in paint production – far cleaner than natural gas.

"We are delighted to be able to hand over the first MINI "Made in Germany" to our customers in a CO2-neutral manner thanks to the plant's sustainable energy supply. In this way, the new all-electric MINI Countryman demonstrates what the brand stands for: electrified go-kart feeling and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint," said Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI.


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