Mini is busy working on the next-generation Countryman and we’ve already seen prototypes testing in winter conditions. The automaker now reaffirms there will be an all-electric version of the crossover, which will become the first Mini in history to be produced entirely in Germany. The Countryman EV will be built alongside the BMW 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupé, and 2 Series Active Tourer at BMW Group’s plant in Leipzig. Mini also publishes teaser images with the model, showing camouflaged prototypes.
Unfortunately, Mini doesn’t release technical information about the electric Countryman. However, it is believed the model will share its platform and components with the BMW iX1. If this turns out to be true, the crossover with a funky design language could be powered by two electric motors with a combined output of 313 horsepower (230 kilowatts) and 364 pound-feet (494 Newton-meters). A 64.7-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides electric energy for up to 272 miles (438 kilometers) of range at a single charge in the Bavarian electric model.
In order to secure production of the new Countryman in Leipzig, the plant is receiving a major €800 million (around $851 million with the current exchange rates) investment, which will go into setting up new production lines and additional production areas for electric components. By 2024, BMW expects to hire around 1,000 new employees in electric components production, which will join the current workforce of about 5,600 employees. Today, the Leipzig plant builds approximately 1,000 cars each day but that capacity is expected to grow in the coming years.
Mini plans to sell only fully electric cars by the end of the decade, but the next-generation Countryman isn’t expected to be an EV-only product. Spy photos have shown combustion-powered prototypes and word on the street is the core options will be 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbocharged gas mills.
According to reports, a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder plug-in hybrid is also under development, offering 322 horsepower (237 kilowatts). It will be equipped with a 14.2-kWh battery for around 55 miles of electric driving range. A less powerful version of this PHEV setup could also be in the cards.