MINI has begun the countdown to the September 1 double world première of the next-generation Cooper hatchback and Countryman crossover. The teaser image, which was released today, depicts the already familiar shape of the two upcoming electric-powered variants. However, the Oxford-based automaker intends to continue selling these two vehicles with internal combustion engines. Before the early 2030s, MINI will transition to an electric-only inventory.
BMW Group is bringing Countryman production in-house by producing the compact crossover in Leipzig, Germany, as opposed to outsourcing it to VDL Nedcar in Born, The Netherlands, as was the case with the outgoing model. The EV variant of the next Cooper hatchback will be manufactured in China, while the ICE models will continue to be assembled in the United Kingdom.
The zero-emission hatchback will be assembled by Spotlight Automotive, a 50:50 joint venture established in 2019 by the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor. A new factory has been constructed in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, China, for the next electric Cooper as well as the 2024 release of the Aceman subcompact crossover exclusively as an EV.
As shown in the image above, MINI has already unveiled the minimalist interface design of its upcoming models, which will feature a 9.4-inch OLED display and few conventional controls. The majority of functions will be accessed via this circular display or Spike, a newly developed voice assistant. This new generation of BMWs will feature a cloud-based navigation system and support for AirConsole in-car casual games, just like BMW’s more expensive vehicles.
In terms of technical specifications, the Cooper E will have 181 horsepower and a 40,7-kWh battery, while the Cooper SE will have 215 horsepower and a larger 54.2-kWh battery. Estimates place the range between 186 and 249 miles (300 and 400 kilometers). The hatchback will ride on a platform designed by Great Wall Motor and is anticipated to be slightly shorter, with a longer wheelbase and a slightly wider body.
MINI will make the Countryman significantly larger than its antecedent, measuring approximately 4429 millimeters (174.3 inches) in length and 1613 millimeters (63.5 inches) in height. It will have a wheelbase of 2670 millimeters (105.1 inches) and be available in two variants: Countryman E and Countryman SE ALL4. The former will have 188 horsepower, while the latter will have 268 horsepower and all-wheel drive. In terms of range, the FWD model should be able to travel 273 miles (440 kilometers) before running out of energy, whereas the heavier AWD model will only travel 220 miles (350 kilometers).
On Friday, MINI will reveal the hatchback and crossover duo at 11 a.m. CEST before bringing them to the 2023 IAA Munich the following week. BMW will premiere the Vision Neue Klasse at the same event.