British premium carmaker Mini has just previewed its first ever plug-in hybrid model. Now although this is just a preview of what’s to come in terms of eco-friendly motoring, Mini has said that the series development process for the car has almost been completed.
It features a combustion engine and an electric motor for the first time in a Mini. This marks the beginning of a new phase for the brand which has been constantly experimenting with different body styles over the last few years.
Mini says its plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but also the typical driving fun that’s associated with their cars. At first glance, you wouldn’t recognise the test car as a hybrid model. And that’s not because of the camouflage foil used. The charging socket for the high-voltage battery is discreetly integrated in the left side scuttle. Everything also looks familiar in the cockpit. The start/stop button in the centre of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red. The rpm counter in the instrument cluster on the steering column has been replaced with a power display.
The electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels whereas the combustion engine powers the front wheels. According to Mini, the AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits speeds of up to 80kmph, while in MAX eDRIVE mode speeds of up to 125kmph are possible. Given that it’s nearing the end of its development process, we expect the plug-in hybrid Mini to come out sometime next year.