Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
With plant-based interiors from recycled materials, fewer parts for construction, and charismatic simplicity utilizing human-centric amenities, let me introduce you to the new family of electric MINIs, including the electric MINI Cooper and the electric MINI Countryman. Held at Sugar Mountain during IAA Mobility in Munich, Germany, the fun, entertaining, and youthful atmosphere captured the essence and mindset of the MINI community in front of a global audience.
With expectations of the MINI brand going all-electric by 2030, product planners, designers, and company executives are laying the foundation for a mobility shift that will see a vastly reduced carbon footprint from MINI’s squad of legendary go-kart-like automobiles. Represented by mantras like Today Will Be a Good Day, Different But Good Together, and Big Love, MINI has embraced the positive energy from our communities and is thoughtfully returning the favor with two new, all-electric vehicles. In the warehouse district of Munich, the bright and colorful venue was transformed into an adult playground and concert hall as MINI tapped into the talents of London-based author and performance poet Sophia Thakur to introduce the new family. Additionally, John and Charlie Cooper blessed the audience with their presence.
Having recently celebrated its 64th anniversary, the company is embarking on its most significant transformation ever, as is most automakers transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles. With hundreds of innovations, 1 million users connected to the MINI app, and millions of cars built, the emotional brand will continue to digitize its community while leaving a smaller carbon footprint behind. Its reduced economic dependence stems from increased recycled materials such as recycled fabrics, secondary aluminum, and increased sensors in place of heavier parts. Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, went on to explain that a philosophy of Charismatic Simplicity will dictate the design direction of both vehicles with a focus on three key elements: a sporty multifunction steering wheel, the OLED circular display, and toggle switches. Everything about the cars is simplistic, with an interplay of sound, projection, and light for one curated experience.
As MINI puts it, Charismatic Simplicity combines the traditional MINI values with progressive innovations in a particularly authentic way, reducing the vehicle design to the essentials.
“The continued high demand for our locally emission-free vehicles confirms our path to a fully electric future. It demonstrates the openness of our global MINI community to electric mobility, and I am confident that the new generation of MINI models will inspire even more people. Thanks to our electrified go-kart feeling, an immersive user experience, and a responsible attitude, the new MINI family is tailor-made for urban target groups all around the world,” explains Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI Brand.
The biggest MINI family member is longer and taller for traveling families. Now in its third generation, the Countryman compact crossover will help proud owners thrive in the city and the countryside. It’s the first vehicle with Level 2 assistance systems for semi-automated driving, if that’s your thing. Styling is more robust but streamlined with a surfboard-designed roof that cuts through the elements, a simplified power-dome hood, a new octagonal grille, new signature lights, short overhangs, a flush integrated rear bumper, and vertical taillamps. The vertical theme follows the interior including the vents and door handles. The OLED center display and MINI Operating System 9 will provide all the necessary information required for a sporty, intuitive drive. Four MINI Countryman trims include Essential, Classic, Favoured, and JCW.
On the other hand is the three-door all-electric MINI Cooper representing its fifth generation. Yet, we do not know if this particular model will make it to the United States. With a miniature stature, MINI modernized the panels and increased the body while reducing materials for minimalism like flushed door handles, a slighter grille, and no plastic fender flares. Its triangular taillamps are cool too.
This model is the second generation of MINI electrification and saw a 15% take rate of the first electric Cooper, which indicates what mobility leaps can be made. So, it already seems to fit well with the demographic and mindset of MINI consumers. However, an all-electric MINI doesn’t work in all parts of America like the Midwest. But in urban places similar to Austin with community charging, then yes. The MINI Cooper E features a 135 kW/184 horsepower electric motor and the MINI Cooper SE receives a 160 kW/218 horsepower e-motor.
A MINI is a different type of car for a different type of customer. Are you ready to ride the all-electric MINI wave?