According to a report on Autocar UK, BMW’s MINI is bringing back the MINI Minor nameplate. The city punter will use a new all-in-one electric powertrain unit developed by the BMW Group, which is codenamed ‘Heat.’ These new units combine a water-cooled motor, a single-speed transmission, and the associated power electronics into a space that of a typical combustion engine.
MINI will resurrect the ‘Minor’ brand, which dates back to 1959 when the original Mini (designed by Alec Issigonis) was released as the Morris Mini Minor. However, this time, the nameplate will refer to an all-electric city car, measuring just 3.5 m, jointly developed by BMW and China’s Great Wall Motors under their ‘Spotlight’ alliance. The Minor will be the first product under Spotlight Automotive Limited, which will manufacture and sell Mini electric vehicles in China and thus not be subjected to import taxes levied on the current Mini products imported from Britain. Construction of a 550 million GBP factory in the Jiangsu province in China commenced in June 2020.
Compact suspension & flat floor are MINI Minor’s specialties
Back to the Mini Minor, the report states it will be based on a new vehicle platform jointly developed by the brands. It will feature a new type of compact suspension and small wheels for ultra-compact dimensions, but inside, a flat floor will liberate sufficient space and excellent packaging.
According to the report, the Heat powertrain is expected to put out 135 hp, and combined with a 35 kWh battery, a range of 170 miles (275 km) is expected. As per a BMW source who spoke to the publication, a typical city dweller drives 23 miles a day, and hence this range would give a week’s worth of charge-free running capability.
The Minor should be revealed in concept form in 2022, and a production version should then follow. BMW could also study the feasibility of the Minor for the European market, as it plans to make Mini an all-electric brand by 2030.
More details about the Mini Minor are expected in the coming months.
Featured image: MINI Rocketman, courtesy BMW Group