The Mini hatchback, which appeared in its current form back in 2013, is preparing for a generational change. As the chief designer of the brand Oliver Heilmer told the British edition, the development of the new car is almost complete, the premiere is scheduled for 2023.
In fact, they decided to divide the title model into two separate lines. The direct successor to the current three-door hatch will receive a modified version of the BMW Group’s front-wheel drive platform, retain gasoline engines and continue to be produced in Oxford. In parallel, in the same 2023, in China, at a joint venture with Great Wall, they will establish the production of a more compact all-electric hatchback. Unlike today’s Mini Cooper SE, which is coming soon, this model will receive a separate platform, originally intended for battery cars.
The same joint venture will make a small electric crossover, and in the meantime, the next Countryman will be registered at the BMW plant in Leipzig, which will receive both fuel and electric modifications. In addition, the plans include a battery-powered compact van Traveler, and by the end of the decade, the Urbanaut minibus, shown as a virtual concept a little less than a year ago, and recently embodied in metal, may also be launched into series.
Actually, Urbanaut will become one of the starting points when creating a new corporate identity. The manufacturer expects to transfer the models of the next generation to a higher price segment of the market, while their design will become simpler and more functional: the company will get rid of both chrome in decor and leather trim. An example of this approach is the recent Mini Strip prototype, built in a single copy in collaboration with British fashion designer Paul Smith.