German carmaker BMW has unveiled a concept zero-emissions MINI car – a version of which will go on the roads in 2019.
The MINI Electric Concept car was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. Its reveal follows an announcement in July that zero-emissions MINI models would be built in Oxford, England from 2019.
Although no details were shared about the car’s interior, its exterior is based on that of the classic three-door MINI – something the company believes gives it “style and individual flair” in comparison to other electric models.
“The concept vehicle conveys a message of sustainable urban transportation in MINI style while at the same time previewing a volume production model that will follow soon,” said MINI, which is owned by BMW.
“It will make electro-mobility a highly emotional experience that combines driving fun, style and individual flair – as is characteristic of the MINI brand.”
The car, decorated with a yellow gradient roof and equipped with large circular headlights, appears much like a standard MINI and is based on an earlier concept presented in 2008.
This model was produced in a small run of 600 cars and was subject to field tests, which ended up providing insights for BMW’s first electric vehicle – the i3.
As it runs off an electric motor, it doesn’t require a grille to aid cool air flow – meaning the bonnet can swoop downwards and improve the car’s aerodynamics.
The announcement didn’t include any information about whether the car would be equipped with driverless capabilities – despite BMW board director Peter Schwarzenbauer telling Dezeen earlier this year that autonomous technology was an ongoing focus for the brand.
The MINI Electric Concept car comes after the UK announced that it is set to ban the sale of all diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040, following in the footsteps of other countries including France, the Netherlands and Germany.
BMW, which acquired the MINI brand in 1994, ranked 15th among brands on Dezeen Hot List last year. The German carmaker has become a pioneer of hybrid and electric technologies, seen in models such as the i8 sports car.
It has also explored more experimental territory with its concept vehicles, including the Vision Next 100, a shape-shifting car that can predict your every move.