The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a standout date on the British motoring calendar so what better place for the historically British MINI brand to show off two new concept cars that will shape the future of their production?
MINI Electric Concept
The first of which is the MINI Electric Concept which will be the first fully electric model MINI has ever produced when it eventually goes into production. The Electric Concept carries forward the shape and style of the MINI hatchback, but with countless state-of-the-art design cues to make it a standout EV.
Performance and economy details have been kept a secret so far, so the actual range and battery power that the production vehicle will make is anyone’s guess at this point. We can assume though that the electric range will be the same if not greater than the 186 miles offered by the BMW i3, which the MINI will share its underlying DNA with. MINI has promised though that when it does go on sale the Electric MINI will boast improved handling over the current, non-electric model.
The MINI website is billing the EV car as a new era of go-kart handling and they go on to reassure buyers that they will be making sure their legendary handling and iconic design stays the way that buyers and owners love it.
The Electric MINI is going to be released in 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the classic Mini. Prices are yet to be announced but we can do some estimating. The current Plug-In Hybrid model of the Countryman is roughly £9,000 more than the petrol Cooper Countryman model. If MINI were to loosely stick to the same pricing structure then that pitches the MINI Electric at around £26,000 - however, there is also the £4,500 plug-in car grant to take into account. This would bring the price to around £21,500. It’s hard to gauge whether or not this is expensive compared to the market as the only real competitor is the Nissan Leaf which is available from £27,920 before the government grant. This would suggest our estimations show the MINI could offer really good value.
MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept
The second unveiling was of the new John Cooper Works GP Concept. This model was first displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year but Goodwood is the first time it’s been rolled out on British soil.
So what is the JCW GP? Well, at the end of each MINI model’s life cycle, a JCW GP is released to sign off the innings of each generation. With the new MINI hatch expected in 2020, we imagine this JCW GP will be released in 2019 to get hearts racing one last time before the all-new MINI hatch is released.
If the John Cooper Works GP model does go into production it will be the most extreme and hardcore MINI hatchback that they have ever produced. Do notice the ‘if’ though, because this is only a concept car existing as a case study of the MINI’s potential and nothing is certain just yet.
What can we expect then? Well, first off, the exaggerated and aggressive body kit will not make it to production, and we can expect a slightly more restrained outfit on the car that goes on sale. There will still be side skirts, a huge rear wing and imposing aerodynamics but the ludicrous kit on the concept is purely for eye-grabbing and jaw-dropping purpose. Thankfully, the obligatory JCW bonnet scoop is here to stay.
On the inside, this track-going MINI has had its rear seats removed and replaced by chassis stiffening roll bars for extra stability. If the exterior of the car didn’t convince you that this was a hardcore racing MINI, the inside definitely will. On the concept model, there is exposed metalwork everywhere and two fitted bucket seats for the driver and co-driver. Perhaps not ideal for daily driving as practicality and comfort clearly weren’t high up on the list of priorities when designing this concept, and the 5 point racing harnesses certainly won’t be ideal for most daily tasks.
Performance wise, the current John Cooper Works model will do 0-60mph in a potent 6.3 seconds thanks to the 227 horsepower provided by the 4 cylinders of the 2.0-litre engine. We can’t make any predictions for this new GP model just yet but those figures are the benchmark that the GP model will exceed.