Mini’s signature hatchback, currently known as the Hardtop, is about to be redesigned.
Mini on Tuesday provided an early look at the new hatch, which will revert to being called a Cooper (currently Cooper is just a grade), and we now have fresh spy shots and video of a prototype.
The prototype is for an electric version, but there are also prototypes sporting internal-combustion engines out testing, confirming Mini will once again offer the choice of electric or gas powertrains.
This time around, the electric version will be based on a dedicated electric vehicle platform developed by BMW Group and Great Wall Motors in a Chinese joint venture known as Spotlight. Production of the electric version will be handled in China, while production of the gas version will be handled at BMW Group’s plant in the U.K., where the current Hardtop is built.
2025 Mini Cooper
The gas version will be more of a heavy update of the current Hardtop than a true redesign, and as a result its styling will be slightly different to the electric version. The move makes sense as Mini plans to switch to EV power this decade, and has even locked in 2025 as the date that its final gas car will be launched.
As for the electric Cooper, its look is a clear evolution of the one introduced with the arrival of the first of the modern Minis at the start of the century, though there’s a significant departure for the design of the tailgate, which features sharp angular cutouts that frame the taillights.
It isn’t clear what Mini has planned for the electric version’s powertrains. It’s currently thought Mini will offer a base Cooper E with a 40-kwh battery and 181 hp, and a sportier Cooper SE with a 54-kwh battery and 215 hp. An electric John Cooper Works grade with more than 300 horses is also a possibility. The gas Cooper will likely continue to offer the same 1.5-liter turbo-3 and 2.0-liter turbo-4 engines fitted to the current Hardtop.
The new Cooper is expected to arrive in showrooms in 2024, as a 2025 model. Arriving about the same time will be a redesigned Countryman, which like the Cooper will come in electric and gas flavors. The new Countryman is set to grow slightly in size to make space in Mini’s lineup for a smaller, fully electric crossover that will likely go by the Aceman name.