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New Spy Shots Prove that the Mini Countryman Is Getting Bigger

New Spy Shots Prove that the Mini Countryman Is Getting Bigger

Is the new Mini Countryman not so mini anymore?

Mini is busy revamping its entire lineup for the 2023 model year, and now we’re getting a good look at the next-gen Countryman. As best we can tell from these fresh shots, we’re looking at the Countryman S, however, the camo is still pretty heavy, so do what you will with what we’re about to tell you.

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Here's MINIs take on the Future of Mobility: The Mini Urbanaut is Here

Here’s MINIs take on the Future of Mobility: The Mini Urbanaut is Here

Mini made of physical model of its Stunning Urbanaut Minivan concept from November last year

““The”” Mini Vision Urbanaut is not really a new concept as the design of the vehicle was first showcased back in November last year. The Vision Urbanaut concept has now been ultimately realized from those 3D mockups and can be experienced at BMWs Design studio in Munich, come July the 1st.

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MINI Cooper EV

MINI Cooper EV

The car was recently spotted testing in the EV avatar that will be sold alongside the fuel-powered Cooper

After entering the world of electrification with the Mini Cooper SE a couple of years back, the automaker is now gearing up for its next adventure. The next-gen Mini Cooper EV was recently spied in Sweden during a winter test session. The upcoming Mini Copper EV is still at least a couple of years away, but it will play an important part in shaping the company’s future. The car was spied with heavy camouflage that barely gives anything away, but here’s what we’ve documented about it.

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Our Predictions for How Mini John Cooper Works Will Transition to Electrification

Our Predictions for How Mini John Cooper Works Will Transition to Electrification

Mini wants to take electrification to a new level with JCW models

As part of the BMW Group, the Mini brand is also slowly moving toward electrification. The British brand is now offering a hybrid version of the Countryman and an all-electric variant of the Cooper (called Mini Electric), but it wants to expand further. Next on the list, according to Mini, is a John Cooper Works model, and the company is already working on concept cars that will preview a high-performance EV.

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Mini Announces the All-Electric Cooper SE and It's Already Irrelevant

Mini Announces the All-Electric Cooper SE and It’s Already Irrelevant

The SE has the looks, but not the specs to make a strong case for itself

The intrusion of electrification into the market has not just changed the mechanical dynamics of a car, but has also brought in a new design philosophy altogether. But, let’s be real here for a minute. If there was one car or brand from the current crop that can nonchalantly slip into EV clothes, it is the Mini Cooper. Automakers are adopting crazy-ass designs for their EVs that may or may not please consumers, but an electric Mini? It can’t have any haters; in the looks department at least. However, it looks like the car is dead on arrival because things look pretty only on the outside. Going by the initial impressions, I’d say Mini missed a huge opportunity to make a name for itself.

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2020 Mini Cooper EV

2020 Mini Cooper EV

Will it be a breakthrough car for Mini, or just another BMW i3 reincarnate?

Mini has officially entered the EV fray, and we have finally uncovered the proof. To be honest, Mini Cooper is one of the very few cars from the current combustion-engined crop that could slip into an EV avatar without any cosmetic changes. We have seen automakers going bonkers with the so-called ’futuristic’ designs with slim headlights, sharp cut lines, etc. But in contrast, the Mini Cooper gels well with those electric cars with its retro, rounded looks, and Mini seems to understand that. The 2020 Mini Cooper SE has been spotted sans camo doing some all-electric testing. This electric Mini is based on the Cooper S and looks largely similar to it albeit with a few minor changes. Will the retro-looking Mini Cooper SE make a name for itself in arguably the most competitive segment in the right now?

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2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP

2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP

The fastest Mini ever is just around the corner with maxi performance

Mini is a company that should be taken seriously when it sets about building a performance car. That’s why we stood up and listened when, late last year, we heard that the Mini Cooper JCW GP was coming back in 2020 after what will be a seven-year hiatus. Now, we’re seeing the first spy shots and, as you’d expect, it’s the Cooper JCW dialed up to 11 with some cues ported straight from the devilishly cool 2017 Cooper Works GP Concept. We want it now, together with its +300 horsepower!

Traditionally, the GP version of the Cooper Works is the ultimate performance model. In the past, John Cooper Works, which is long for JCW, built two GP models based on the previous two generations of the Mini. Of the last GP, which bowed out in 2014, only 2,000 examples exist, and just 500 were sold in the U.S., so expect the new model to also be a rare bird. Talking about birds, the GP will once again mark the swansong of the third-generation Mini Hatch with a new one coming soon.

Update 04/08/2019: We’ve managed to catch the 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP doing some last minute spring testing prior to its debut. Check out our latest spy shots and what we know in the spy shots section below.

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Mini UK Shows Off Design Sketches of the First Electric Mini; Promises 2019 Debut

Mini UK Shows Off Design Sketches of the First Electric Mini; Promises 2019 Debut

All-electric MIni is finally coming into shape

Ten years after Mini introduced the Mini-E electric prototype, the German automaker is finally on the verge of launching its first-ever production electric model. MINI is presenting initial design sketches of its future fully electric production model. The pair of sketches show two distinct sections of the all-electric Mini, one of which we already saw in the concept version that was unveiled last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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2017 MINI Electric Concept

2017 MINI Electric Concept

Previews a production model that will arrive in 2019

The modern Mini Cooper was launched in 2001, some 42 years after the British firm launched the original model. This time build under BMW Group ownership, the Mini became more of a fashion statement rather than an affordable, people’s car, but this is exactly what turned it into a big hit. Redesigned in 2006 and 2013, the Cooper grew larger and larger and gained more technology with each generation. In 2017, Mini introduced its first hybrid model, the S E Countryman All4, and it’s now looking to launch its first-ever electric car. And it just unveiled the Mini Electric Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed as a preview for a production model that will be introduced in 2019, the Mini Electric Concept arrives almost ten year since Mini built its first EV, the Mini E. More of a demonstration vehicle rather than a production car, the Mini E was produced between 2009 and 2010 in the form of a three-door Cooper. More than 600 cars were deployed in several countries for on-road testing in a project that eventually led to a couple of BMW trial cars and finally the i3. A modern reinterpretation of the Mini E, the Electric Concept moves Mini one step closer to joining the EV market. It’s a bit late to the party, but as they say, better late than never.

Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Electric Concept.

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Meet the Mini Countryman E Prototype

Meet the Mini Countryman E Prototype

The British brand prepares its first-ever hybrid

The first production series hybrid car, the Toyota Prius, may be only two decades old, but hybrid drivetrains have become increasingly popular over the years, to the extent that nearly every automaker offers or is at least working on one. Such is the case with Mini, which is about to launch its first-ever hybrid.

Still being tested on public roads ahead of production, the company’s first hybrid will be based on the Countryman crossover. Dubbed Countryman E, it’s almost identical to the conventional model, but uses hybrid technology borrowed from BMW, and is all-wheel drive when the combustion engine and electric motor are used at the same time.

Although Mini has yet to showcase a production-ready model and the prototype is still wearing the familiar black-and-yellow camouflage, the hybrid is identical to its gasoline and diesel siblings on the outside. Like any plug-in, it does feature a charging socket, but the device is discreetly integrated into the small vent on the left bumper (or side scuttle in Mini talk). The production car will also sport an "E" badge, but other than that, you won’t know it’s a hybrid.

Inside, the start/stop button in the center of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red, while the instrument cluster display will include a battery status display and other hybrid-specific information.

Mini didn’t say what engine and electric motor make up the hybrid drivetrain, but a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a compact motor rated at 88 horsepower are the most likely options. The three-pot will spin the front wheels, while the electric motor will be installed right over the rear axle and will motivate the rear wheels.

The British firm says that the hybrid model will always start in electric mode, while the combustion engine will be engaged depending on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operates the accelerator pedal. Speaking of the latter, Mini promises "catapult-like acceleration" due to the instant torque generated by the electric motor. The drivetrain will have three modes. Auto eDrive will permit speeds of up to 50 mph, while Max eDrive will allow the driver to travel with speeds of up to 78 mph. The third mode is Save Battery, in which the combustion engine moves the car while the high voltage battery retains charge at a constant level or recharge via the generator.

The hybrid also gives us our best look at the next-generation Countryman. The design is obviously evolutionary and the vehicle appears to ride a little taller than the current model. It should also be longer and wider, as all Mini cars have grown larger with each generation. The new Countryman will be unveiled by the end of the year and arrive in showrooms in 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mini's Upcoming Sedan Could be Larger Than the Clubman

Mini’s Upcoming Sedan Could be Larger Than the Clubman

The four-door could be as big as the BMW 3 Series

Rumors of Mini planning to launch a four-door sedan have been flying around for quite some time now. An,d even though the British company has yet to officially confirm that a compact sedan is underway, it’s the next logical step in order for Mini to achieve a five-model lineup, especially with its two-door models being discontinued one by one. We’ve already speculated about what it may have to offer and even created a rendering using the brand’s current design language, but a recent interview with Mini product chief Ralph Mahler suggests that the four-door could be bigger than we imagined.

Speaking to CarBuzz, Mahler confirmed that Mini plans to remain a compact car company, but said that the upcoming fifth model could be larger than the Clubman. At 168.3 inches, the Clubman is Mini’s longest vehicle as of 2016. "Personally, the compact segment is where our heart should belong to and where our history is. That’s something we should always keep in mind. I’m not saying it’s not possible to go a bit bigger, though,” Mahler said.

There’s no indication as to how big the sedan will be, but a vehicle larger than the Clubman would be about the size of a BMW 2 Series, which is 174.5 inches long. Mini could also develop something similar to the 3 Series, which measures 182 inches as is also sold as a compact, but such a car might just be too big for Mini’s current strategy. On the other hand, with the Cooper and Clubman having grown larger and larger with each generation, everything is possible really.

Continue reading for the full story.

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First All-Electric Mini Set For 2019 Arrival; BMW X3 EV To Follow In 2020

First All-Electric Mini Set For 2019 Arrival; BMW X3 EV To Follow In 2020

BMW has made a lot of gains in electrification, but the competition is coming up too

With rival automakers continuing to push for the development of autonomous driving technology, BMW is ramping up its own efforts and it’s not limiting itself to just the main brand. Speaking with Bloomberg, BMW CEO Harald Krueger confirmed that the German automaker is preparing the first battery-powered model under the Mini brand with a target to get it out on the market by 2019.

Details about the model have yet to be disclosed, but Krueger said that it would be competitive in the critical aspects of the market, including range and price. The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise as the landscape of the industry continues to shift towards an electrified future. Mini’s rivals, including Opel and Renault, were actively present at the 2016 Paris Motor Show to tout their new electric models. Renault, in particular, presented an EV version of the Zoe that promised an NED cycle-certified range of 250 miles.

It’s not yet known if that number is going to be the new standard in the industry, but expect the Mini EV to have similar credentials on the back of advancements made by BMW in electrification. The German automaker has, after all, pushed for hybrid and EV developments earlier than most companies, having done so as early as the turn of the decade, culminating in the creation of the “i” subbrand and the release of the i3 hatchback in 2013 and the i8 sports coupe in 2014. Expect the upcoming Mini EV to benefit from BMW’s headstart in this field.

In related news, Krueger also announced that a battery-powered version of the X3 SUV is also in the pipeline, albeit with a later release date (2020) compared to the Mini EV. The same strategy is expected to be deployed for the SUV as the German automaker looks to bolster its lineup of electric vehicles ahead of the impending onslaught of EV models to hit the market from its competitors.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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BMW to Strengthen its Electrification Portfolio

BMW to Strengthen its Electrification Portfolio

The 3 Series and the X4 could get battery power

Earlier this year, BMW announced that it was more interested in developing autonomous technology and would essentially shift its focus away from developing electric cars like the BMW i3 and i8. With the “i” division slated to get less attention, there was obviously some drama within the company as executives had mixed feelings about straying away from the brand’s electrification strategy. We weren’t really aware of the tensions within Bimmer over this situation until we learned of rumors that BMW board members had decided to skip the Paris Auto Show altogether to finally put the issue to rest. Now, Handelsblatt has learned from an unnamed source that there has been some progress made and that some BMW models will see electrification without getting the official “i” treatment.

With the BMW i3 struggling to meet sales expectations, it isn’t really a surprise that some executives are iffy on investing more money into the brand’s electrification strategy. But, according to that unnamed sources, executives have agreed to bring battery power to not only the 3 Series but the BMW X4 crossover as well. Furthermore, Mini will also see some electrification with at least one Mini model absorbing a battery pack and electric motor into its architecture as well.

For now, this is all rumor of course, but word has it that the electric Mini would take some DNA from the Mini Rocketman Concept. There’s no word as to whether or not the electrified 3 Series and X4 would be an all-electric or plug-in hybrid, so it could really go either way. BMW should come to a finalized decision sometime this month at which point the company will make an official announcement.

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2018 Mini Sedan

2018 Mini Sedan

Will Mini add a premium four-door to its lineup?

Ever since Mini was acquired by BMW, the British motoring icon has struggled to grow. Once known simply as a provider of fun, accessible, small-sized transportation, the brand has made several forays into uncharted territory over the years, some of which have brought success, and others – not so much. Now, however, Mini says it has the right formula. Rather than offering myriad niche variants like it did in the recent past, Mini is looking to trim the fat to just five core model lines. Four of these are already known, including the hardtop, convertible, Countryman subcompact crossover, and Clubman five-door wagon. The final fifth pillar, however, remains a mystery. That said, rumor has it a Mini sedan is heading down the pipeline.

Supporting the speculation is a comment made by Ralph Mahler, vice president for product management at Mini, who dropped a hint at the New York Auto Show while speaking to the U.K. publication Autocar about market trends, saying, “For example, in Asia and the U.S., the sedan segment is very big. This is very interesting to us, of course.”

In many ways, a new Mini sedan makes a lot of sense. The brand has applied its stylish, premium compact paintbrush to a variety of body styles before, but not once has it tried a classic four-door approach. And as Mini looks to expand its presence globally, this possible new segment entry could play well in markets where hatchbacks lose traction, such as the U.S. and China.

So, if the rumors are true, what would a Mini sedan offer? Read on for our speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mini sedan.

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Mini Plans All-Electric Vehicle And Mazda MX-5 Competitor

Mini Plans All-Electric Vehicle And Mazda MX-5 Competitor

Nothing is promised, but Mini could expand lineup with Superleggera & Rocketman

Mini is an interesting low-volume brand and every model pretty much looks the same. In all honesty, you can’t mistake any of them for anything but a Mini. In the past few years or so, Mini has released a few different concepts that may lead to the brand changing for the better. Remember the 2011 Mini Rocketman Concept and the 2012 Mini Rocketman Olympic Concept? Or how about the 2014 Mini Superleggera concept? Well, those concepts might make it into production after all.

According to Autocar, Mini product chief Ralph Mahler has said the brand was looking at whether a small car like the Rocketman could be worth producing, and that that brand had “nothing against” making a smaller model like it in the future. In case you don’t know, the Rocketman is essentially a miniature Mini Cooper that measured just under 10.5 feet in length. Here’s the kicker, though: the Rocketman could go into production as an all-electric vehicle. Wait, what?

Mahler said, “The Rocketman is inspiring us as of today, especially as an EV in the future. It was something that was ahead of its time but is still inspiring. With a smaller car, it’s a bigger challenge. With Rocketman, and talking EV in the future, as the EV engine gets more portable, it’s give and take.” If this does end up playing out, Mini would probably tap into BMW’s i brand for the technology to make it happen.

What’s more, is that the brand is also being “inspired” by the 2014 Mini Superleggera. It’s not exactly likely at this point, but the brand has gotten overall positive feedback from the concept. If the Superleggera did go into production, it would compete against the likes of the Mazda MX-5, but Mahler has admitted that the “roadster segment is small, and demand is going down.” That said, it is inspiring the brand, and it is a possibility, but the brand hasn’t made any decisions about putting the concept into production as of yet.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mini Looking To Add Fifth Model

Mini Looking To Add Fifth Model

Considering either a premium compact model or halo car

Mini is looking at a number of ways to grow its brand and among the options being considered is a premium compact sedan that would serve as the company’s fifth model. Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member in charge of Mini, told AutoNews about the company’s plans as it tries to expand the Mini lineup past its current four-car roster.

While there’s been no decision made on the matter, a more upscale compact sedan appears to be on the inside track to getting the green light. At the very least, it has a bigger chance of joining the three- and four-door Cooper Hardtop, the redesigned Clubman wagon, and the Countryman to make up Mini’s lineup moving forward. Another model, a production version of the Superleggera electric roadster concept, is also on the table but Schwarzenbauer admitted that it’s less likely to get the nod due to the possibility that it could be tagged as a low-volume, high-priced halo model. Such a model has a place in Mini’s lineup, but Schwarzenbauer explained that making a case for it from a business perspective has its own challenges.

On the other hand, a compact model would allow Mini to continue transitioning into the segment as it diversifies its model lineup with subcompact and compact vehicles. No timetable has been given on when the company is going to make a final decision, but expectations call for it to happen within the year.

In related news, Mini is also in the process of developing a plug-in hybrid model, which it plans to launch by 2018. An electric car is also on the table, although much of that car’s fate will depend on how far the company develops its own battery technology. There is a need for one considering that Mini touts itself as an urban brand and electric cars are well suited for urban cities. Just don’t expect to see one anytime soon.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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