A prototype of the new Mini Electric has been spotted undergoing winter tests in Northern Europe ahead of an expected 2023 launch.
The car was photographed in the snow sporting a yellow, line-obscuring livery, with black wheel rims and an ‘electric test vehicle’ label on both sides and the rear of the car.
Despite the camouflage, the Mini’s squat shape is clear to see, and the prototype appeared with a covered front end. The model’s new, revamped lights, a defining feature or the Fiat 500 rival, continue to hint at an extensive visual refresh for the model.
The highly-anticipated, all-electric model will be built in China on a new, dedicated platform as part of a joint venture with Great Wall Motors. It will launch alongside an Oxford-built petrol variant.
The model was officially previewed by Mini in November last year, wearing a different black and white chequered livery. The car is expected to spearhead the reform of the Mini line-up as the brand overhauls its production processes before making the switch to all-electric by the early 2030s.
Mini says that cars with “highly efficient petrol and diesel engines” will continue to serve “groups and regions” that aren’t ready to make the shift to pure-EV motoring.
The new three-door hatch is also likely to be joined by a five-door variant, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed. Mini’s 2023 three-door will pioneer an all-new interior design, which uses new technology to expand its personalisation options.
Details are unconfirmed, but Mini has said the instrument panel “will have surfaces acting as “canvases that can be tailored by the customer to suit their requirements”, essentially allowing the cabin to be redesigned at will.
The three-door hatch will arrive alongside a pair of all-new small cars developed in China. One of these is expected to be the ultracompact Minor supermini and the other a compact crossover positioned beneath the upsized Countryman.