Electric MINI coming in 2019

The battery-powered MINI will be based on an existing model.

MINI has announced plans to introduce its first regular-production electric car in 2019.

The yet-unnamed battery-powered model will be the fifth -- and likely the last -- member of the company's lineup. It won't be entirely new because it will be based on an existing model, though the company didn't reveal which one. Regardless, the car will inaugurate an important breakthrough in battery technology.

"It's completely new technology. It's the next step in battery tech. We chose to launch in 2019 as this is when we will see the technology," explained company boss Peter Schwarzenbauer in a recent interview with British magazine Autocar.

Schwarzenbauer openly wants to trim the MINI lineup down to five core models. In 2019, the family will be made up of the two- and four-door versions of the Hardtop (pictured), the Convertible, the Clubman, the Countryman, and the EV. Executives aren't interested in chasing volume or branching out into niche segments, so the upcoming arrival of an electric model most likely means earlier concepts like the tiny Rocketman and the well-received Superleggera Vision most likely won't reach production.

MINI has already started to electrify its lineup. The brand new second-generation Countryman that made its public debut a few days ago at the Los Angeles Auto Show will be available with a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain when it goes on sale in March.

Photos by Ronan Glon.

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