GRR

All-new Mini range to kick off with electric Countryman

09th March 2023
Bob Murray

Here it is Mini fans, the all-new Countryman, due this year and fully electric to boot. You see it here for the first time still wearing its a swirly-patterned yellow disguise and in the super-clean and crisp assembly plant where it will be made. And yes, that is a BMW coming down the same production line…

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A Mini made in Germany? That’s never happened before. BMW might have owned Mini for 27 years but it’s never made one in its home country before. BMW-generation Minis – including the one in five of them that are already electrified in some way – have always hailed from Plant Oxford, Cowley as was. 

That changes this year with the new Countryman which is being assembled in Leipzig alongside its BMW cousins, 1- and 2-series models like the X1 crossover and 2-series Active Tourer. We just hope this Mini gets to keep its Union flag rear lights…

Why Leipzig? Inevitably there are all kinds of platform and component-sharing synergies at work, but it is also because Leipzig is as green as BMW’s assembly plants get. The first-ever all-electric Mini Countryman will emerge from a partly wind-powered factory that produces 1000 cars every day and does so in a way that makes it one of the most modern and sustainable automotive factories in the world.

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And they are clearly well chuffed with the decision to make the Countryman there. “We are delighted to be able to hand over the first Mini ‘Made in Germany’ to our customers in a CO2-neutral manner,” says Mini chief Stefanie Wurst.

“The new all-electric Mini Countryman demonstrates what the brand stands for: electrified go-kart feeling and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint."

So what exactly will they be making? We do not as yet know all the details but what seems clear is that the second-generation Countryman will be a markedly larger, chunkier and more spacious car – far more the mid-size SUV than it has been. It will also, confirms BMW, be produced in both fully electric and combustion-engined forms, although it is not yet known which will be sold here. 

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Thanks to sharing with the BMW X1, we can expect a flagship version to have twin motors, four-wheel drive and around 300PS (224kW). 

Production of the first German-made Mini kicks off in Leipzig at the end of this year, with a full unveiling and technical details due before then. Whatever next? A Mini made in China? Yes, that’s coming too... 

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