60 years on Sir Alec's Mini spark is reignited

MINI has unveiled the new MINI Electric at its Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago.

After 15,000 potential customers already expressed an interest in the car, the official order books are now open with manufacturing beginning in late 2019, with first deliveries in the spring of 2020 and exports headed around the world.

The new electric model will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models and instantly recognisable as a three-door MINI Hatch, the MINI Electric blends the timeless appeal of the design and go-kart handling with the latest in cutting-edge, zero-emissions powertrain technology and in-car connectivity. Its makers say it drives just as a MINI should with performance close to that of the hot hatch MINI Cooper S, accelerating from zero to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and onto a limited top speed capability of 93mph.

The battery pack has 12 modules of lithium-ion cells arranged in a T-shaped unit in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, providing a battery capacity of 32.6 kWh and linked to the motor which is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 184 HP and maximum torque of 270 Nm.

In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.

The on-the-road list price of MINI Electric is from £24,400 after the government’s Plug-In Car Grant has been applied.

Secretary of State for business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news of the launch of the new MINI Electric, “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.

“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.

The original Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, was born out of the Suez crisis oil shortage and the demand for affordable motoring. The first cars rolled off the line at Oxford in the summer of 1959 and so began a global success story which has spanned six decades.