Looks like the makers of the MINI, which is to say BMW, are finally catching up with the rest of the market in offering a hybrid variant of the iconic British runabout. Previewed in camo by brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf, the MINI Plug-in Hybrid will soon head into production.
“MINI driving fun combined with zero tailpipe emissions” is how the two fellows mentioned above describe the MINI Plug-in Hybrid which, like any other hybrid, features a combustion engine and an electric motor. So if they were to be more precise, they would have said MINI driving fun with zero emission for about 20 or so miles, because after that you will have drained the batteries and have to engage the fossil fuel engine to keep going.
Still, they are adamant that going hybrid electric has not cost the MINI Plug-in Hybrid its go-kart feeling. If anything, it is now boosted, what with the improved acceleration capabilities brought on by the immense torque of the electric motor. The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provides enough go-juice for speeds up to 50 mph in AUTO eDRIVE and up to 75 mph in MAX eDRIVE driving mode. The engineers have also maintained the look of the hybrid MINI as normal as possible, hiding the charging port in the left Side Scuttle and only changing the color of the start/stop button from red to yellow inside the cabin.
“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.”