mini plans on selling an all-electric model in 2019, and it's just released the first design sketches of the upcoming production model's grille and asymmetric wheel. notably, the wheel carries over a design first seen on the mini electric concept during the 2017-18 auto show circuit.
based on these sketches, it's difficult to know much more about the car. given the shared wheels with the electric concept and not the classic mini electric, don't expect a full-on tiny retro mini with battery-electric power.
that's a shame, because minis are becoming decidedly less ... mini as the years go on. soon, you won't even be able to pull off a heist in italy with one. a tiny all-electric city car would be a nice combination of past, present and future. the car will be based on the three-door mini hardtop, which is the smallest of the current lot.
according to mini, the grille will be able to be fully closed, improving aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range. the car will also have yellow accents on the grille and wheels - and likely other places, as well — to communicate its electrification to the world.
mini confirmed to that the car will make it to the u.s. with tesla's ev tax credit slowly transitioning to zero, mini has a chance to snag a bit of the market based on cost while offering what is likely a more upscale alternative to the nissan leaf or chevrolet bolt ev. a mini spokesperson confirmed that the car will debut in late 2019 and hit dealerships sometime thereafter.
editor's note: this story was updated july 13, 2018, to clarify the timeframe of mini electric vehicles as well as the on-sale timeline for the mini electric concept.
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