BMW Unveils Mini Electric Concept Ahead of Frankfurt

An all-electric concept born from the DNA of BMW's i-project cars.

via BMW

BMW has revealed some photos of the newest Mini family member on Wednesday, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The all-electric concept, derived from the roots of the i-project, is just one of the ways in which BMW will shift focus towards electrification.

Electric cars still have some stigma of being boring commuter cars meant to transport people who don't care about anything but gas mileage and saving the environment. Mini is here to help dispel those rumors. One of Mini's board member describes the Electric as "go-kart feeling" due to its electric motor's snappy response, making it a very fun but practical automobile. In fact, the company envisions all electric cars will start to go in this direction in order to appease its customers. They're positive that, even as brands electrify cars, the transition to electrification could make driving fun even in the most beige of cars.

The Mini Electric concept actually looks pretty good. Its matte-style paint and stylish accent colors brighten the car, while its noticeable aerodynamics provide an aggressive look. Even the wheels look great for something offered as a factory-delivered option. The target audience for this car is clear: hipsters who want an electric car, but don't want something boring.

Initially, it was believed that Mini would likely focus on stuffing a larger battery into this new concept; however it appears that they are targeting a rather tight-knit commuting environment instead. Mini states that their ideal audience for the car will live in an urban setting and use it for day-to-day commuting. Though they haven't listed battery size or approximate range, this type of language leads us to believe that the car might have similar range to the BMW i3, or about 100 miles from a 33 kWh battery pack. This would place the brand back with its roots where it all began. Mini was initially used as a testing grounds for BMW's "i" project, but didn't receive the same sort of adoption by the public. BMW's i3 and i8 became an option for consumers and the first electric Mini, the 2009 Mini E concept, was left behind.

No specific details are available as of yet, so we'll have to wait until late next month until we know exactly what BMW is up to with the Mini. Though it still holds the shape and soul we all know and love, its heart is now electrified.