The first ever MINI plug-in hybrid model is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2017, reports International Business Times. The details are few and far between, but sources say it will be based on the next generation MINI Countryman. That model is expected to be noticeably longer and wider than the Countryman that is on sale today. BMW says a fully electric MINI will arrive in 2019.
The plug-in car is expected to share much of its drivetrain with the BMW 225xe Active Tourer. That means a three cylinder engine powering the front wheels and an electric motor for the rears. Conceptually, the drivetrain is similar to the one used in the BMW i8 sports car but configured differently and with far less horsepower. In the i8, the gasoline engine sends power to the rear wheels and the electric motor is mounted up front. Charging times from a standard household outlet (220 volts in Europe) is 3 hours and 15 minutes.
The 225xe Active Tourer has a total of 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor alone supplies 87 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of toruque. An all electric range of 25 miles is expected. The car will also have a top speed using just the electric motor of either 50 0r 78 miles per hour, depending on which of several driving modes is selected. There will be a Save Battery mode that prevents assistance from the electric motor while driving on the highway. In theory, that will allow the car to have a full battery charge when the highway is left behind and urban motoring begins.
The gasoline engine will be mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. When both the engine and the motor are active, the plug-in MINI will have four wheel drive capability. Also, when driving in electric only mode, it will be the first MINI ever with rear wheel drive. There are some minor changes scheduled for the interior. The standard red Start button will be yellow and the tachometer will be replaced with a power meter. The MINI PHEV is expected to get its first public showing at the Los Angeles auto show in November.
Source: International Business Times Photo credit: BMW