MINI is using the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt to showcase its take on future personal mobility in the city – in the form of the MINI Electric Concept.
Designed for use in urban areas, this concept car offers a window into how pure-electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead. MINI will present an all-electric series-production model in 2019.
“The MINI Electric Concept offers a thrilling preview of the all-electric production vehicle. MINI and electrification make a perfect match,” remarks Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Unmistakably MINI – the design
“The MINI Electric Concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
“Indeed, aerodynamics and lightweight design aren’t just important in the world of motor sport; they are also essential factors for maximising electric range. The car’s surfaces have a sense of precision and contemporary clarity about them that lends added impact to the car’s efficient character. Plus, striking accents and vivid contrasts give the exterior that distinctive MINI twist.”
The car’s front end boasts a hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights make the MINI Electric Concept instantly recognisable, when viewed from the front. The radiator grille and headlights have been reinterpreted to reflect the emission-free drive technology under the bonnet.
As the electric drive unit requires very little cooling air, the radiator grille is closed for superior aerodynamics. A Striking Yellow accent bar in the grille – with an E badge in the same colour – produces a powerful contrasting effect, which is echoed by the styling of the daytime running lights in the all-LED headlight assemblies.
The design of the dark-coloured 19″ wheels adds another visual highlight, picking up on the idea of the radiator grille’s accent bar and reinterpreting it in asymmetrical form. The aerodynamic inlays – made using a 3D printing process – echo the fibreglass structure of the air deflectors and inject the wheels with great aesthetic appeal.
The recessed louvred surfaces in the simulated air intakes were also produced using a 3D printing method. These two elements emphasise the light and modern character of the MINI Electric Concept, while at the same time illustrating the opportunities offered by 3D printing in terms of producing functional design elements for vehicle styling and customisation.
Clarity and dynamism – the rear end
The rear of the concept car also marks it out as a thoroughbred MINI. Its wide stance on the road is striking in a sporty way, without lapsing into excessive flamboyance.
The rear light assemblies constitute yet another standout visual feature and provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots. Framed within the classic MINI outline, they each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix. The rear apron features aerodynamic elements similar to those at the front, including air deflectors and a fibreglass diffuser.
These reinforce the car’s efficient dynamism on both a visual and functional level. There is also a yellow accent strip that provides a striking colour contrast when the car is viewed from the rear, while simultaneously announcing the presence of an electric drive system.
Cutting-edge, pure and dynamic (in an efficient way), the MINI Electric Concept encapsulates MINI’s near-term vision of an all-electric car designed for urban mobility in a changing world.
In other motoring related news, BMW recently announced the newest edition to its all-electric mobility stable in the BMW i3s.