BMW for the current convertible (Mini Convertible) to create a pure electric version to test the market for a potential next-generation model.
According to the company, "This one-off Mini Electric Convertible is a prototype to test drive a zero-emission convertible with Mini."
According to reports, the discounted prototype is based on the Mini Electric's powertrain components, using the superstructure of the current Cooper S convertible built in Munich.
Equipped with a 181-horsepower electric motor, the prototype has a maximum range of 145 miles (233.35 kilometers) in WLTP, which is basically the same as the production Mini Electric.
Although the convertible is 140kg heavier than the Cooper S Convertible with the combustion engine, luggage capacity remains unchanged at 160 liters.
BMW said the current Mini convertible will not be changed to an electric car, but a new convertible will be introduced: "We have announced that the Mini convertible will receive a successor, but now we are talking about this one that will replace the current Mini. It's too early for a convertible engine mix."
A BMW source told Autocar that they are about to build an all-electric sister model of the new-generation Mini hatchback EV on a custom platform as part of a joint venture with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors.
As early as 18 months from now, BMW will unveil an all-new electric Mini three-door, making it the ideal base for a convertible. The three-door architecture is also said to have a 40mm longer wheelbase than the current car, which should improve the ride and significantly increase rear space.
It also means that the next generation of Mini Convertibles will all have larger batteries than the one-off prototype, and the EV platform could allow the current Mini to have significantly less front overhang while passing future crash tests.
Autocar says future electric convertibles will feature larger batteries, with the equivalent Cooper model having a 40kWh battery. Any Cooper S convertible can be equipped with a 50kWh battery and bring about 250 miles of real-world range, as well as very strong performance.
Official BMW sources would not give further details about the fourth-generation Mini derivative, but Autocar says the new all-electric model will ditch many of the classic Mini designs, including the clamshell hood that has been around since 2001.
Although the three-door Mini EV and Mini ICE hatchbacks are based on completely different architectures, they will both share a stripped-down interior developed under Heilmer. Sources say the Mini's circular speed dial will remain in the form of a touchscreen, and other switches will be significantly reduced, including a BMW-style circular controller.