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MINI at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017

The MINI E was originally produced as a small series of 600 electric vehicles and was field-tested in real, everyday driving situations.

The British premium brand is paving the way for pure electric driving fun with the US premiere of the MINI Electric Concept and the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 – already available to purchase. A diverse line-up of MINI models, including the new Ice Blue Edition, will also be on display at the International Auto Show in California.

 


 

MINI’s appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017 will focus on the diversity of its current model programme as well as its vision of future driving fun, so typical of the MINI brand.

The highlight of the show will be the US premiere of the MINI Electric Concept. The British premium brand’s concept vehicle is the precursor to emission-free mobility, MINI-style. The MINI-typical go-kart feeling takes on a whole new level thanks to the purely electric drivetrain.

From 1 – 10 December 2017 MINI will also be presenting its entire spectrum of models to visitors of the LA Auto show. The new, limited Ice Blue Edition, which has been produced especially for the US market, will also be on display.

For 15 years now MINI has been consistently exciting a growing fan base with efficient driving fun, distinctive design and individual style. During this time the brand has not only succeeded in further strengthening its model programme but has also conquered new customer target groups. This development will be reflected at the MINI stand at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The MINI Hardtop 2 door, the MINI Hardtop 4 door and the MINI Convertible represent the pinnacle of the premium small car segment. The brand has established itself furthermore in the premium compact segment with the MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman.

 

 

MINI Electric Concept: Urban Driving Fun with zero-emissions.

MINI has once again chosen the Los Angeles Auto Show to stage its vision of future mobility MINI-style with the US premiere of the MINI Electric Concept.

In November 2008 the International Auto Show in California became a showcase for the world premiere of the MINI E. For the first time ever the British premium automotive producer presented a purely electrically-driven vehicle, based on the predecessor of the current MINI Hardtop 2 door.                                                                        

The MINI E was originally produced as a small series of 600 electric vehicles and was field-tested in real, everyday driving situations. The BMW Group incorporated the knowledge drawn from this trial into the development of the BMW i3 among other vehicles.

 

 

Electro-mobility MINI-style – to be experienced on the road soon

The design and vehicle concept of the MINI Electric Concept illustrates perfectly how electric mobility in the urban environment can enrich the distinctive charm, individuality and driving experience of a MINI. The MINI E’s powerful electric engine excites with quick reactions at the touch of the accelerator. Its energy is derived from a lithium-ion battery. MINI-typical agility, as well as maximum range, is, therefore, ensured when driving emission-free.

The MINI Electric Concept epitomizes a distinctive form of electro-mobility which will soon be experienced in every day driving. The BMW Group has already announced the development of a purely electrically driven MINI series vehicle. The first of these large-scale produced MINIs with battery-electric drivetrains will be available from 2019 – exactly 60 years after the launch of the classic Mini.

This model ensures electro-mobility is a MINI-typical experience of driving fun, style and individuality. The electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3 door model.

 

 

Forerunner for electric driving fun: The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

The MINI Electric Concept will be presented side-by-side with the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The British brand’s first Plug-in-Hybrid model is already paving the way for pure electric driving fun.

The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is an all-rounder with a difference. With five seats, a generous boot and numerous mod cons it ensures on-brand driving fun, either side of the city boundaries. Its power is derived from a combustion engine and an electric motor, which combined reach a system performance of 221hp. In pure electric mode the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 reaches a top speed of 78mph, ensuring a large part of the daily driving can be completed emission free.

When an increase in performance is required the combustion engine is activated. The precisely steered interaction of the power to the front wheels through the combustion engine, and to the rear wheels through the electric motor ensures an intelligent all-wheel drive. Superior driving fun in all weather conditions and on all road surfaces is, therefore, guaranteed.

 

 

MINI Countryman and MINI Clubman: Two individual characters in the premium compact segment.

The Plug-in-Hybrid drivetrain renders the new MINI Countryman a pioneer in the area of sustainable mobility. Furthermore, two additional engine variants of the largest and most versatile MINI model in the US American market are available.

The MINI Cooper Countryman is powered by a 134 hp 3-cylinder engine. The 4-cylinder engine of the MINI Cooper S Countryman enables a top speed of 189 hp. Both models come as standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and optionally with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or 8-speed automatic transmission (MINI Cooper S Countryman only). Furthermore, both the MINI Cooper Countryman and MINI Cooper S Countryman can be combined with all-wheel drive ALL4.

With an identical drivetrain, the new MINI Clubman also ensures unique driving fun in the premium compact segment. Moreover, its unique body concept ensures it stands out in this vehicle category. Four side doors and the two Split Doors at the rear present a modern interpretation of the classic Shooting Brake. Its suitability for daily driving use is underlined with five fully-fledged seats, a large luggage compartment and flexible configuration of its floor space.

 

 

MINI Hardtop 2 door, MINI Hardtop 4 door and MINI Convertible: three Originals in the premium small car Segment

The foundation for the success of the MINI brand over the last 15 years in the USA has been laid thanks to the premium models in the small car segment. The Original in this vehicle segment distinguishes itself through its high-quality engine, chassis technology, premium quality and individuality. The hatchback body shell is represented as always by the MINI Hardtop 2 door. It is available in the USA as a MINI Cooper with 134hp and as a MINI Cooper S with 189 hp.

The latest limited edition model will draw visitors’ attention to the MINI Hardtop 2 Door. At the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017 the limited Ice Blue Edition, produced especially for the USA will also be on display.

With MINI Ice Blue Edition, one of the most popular and iconic MINI body colours returns as an exclusive MINI Hardtop 2 Door. Available as a Cooper with a white roof and mirror caps, or as a Cooper S with the sporty punch of Bright Orange side stripes and mirror caps, it’s pure classic cool, with essential modern upgrades.

The principle of clever use of space, used ever since the classic Mini, has been consistently developed with the MINI Hardtop 4 door. In addition to the two extra doors, the functionality of the vehicle is increased by the 161 mm longer body and three rear seats.

Similar to the MINI Hardtop 2 door, the MINI Hardtop 4 door is available with two engine variants. The trio of small car Originals is completed with the MINI Convertible. It combines brand-typical driving fun with exclusive open air pleasure and also in the current generation, it is the only premium cabriolet in its vehicle category. The open-air 4-seater is also available with two engine variants – as MINI Cooper Convertible and as MINI Cooper S Convertible.

 

The John Cooper Works models: Four top athletes for an enthralling race feeling

The latest generation of John Cooper Works models offers a genuine race track feeling for the road. Four top athletes are currently available and they have this in common: a drive-train, chassis and exterior and interior modelling derived from an established knowledge of motorsport and tested on the race-track. The MINI John Cooper Works offers maximum performance in a premium small vehicle. The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible ensures extreme driving fun in the open air.

Two exceptional athletes in the premium compact segment have also ignited a passion for motorsport. The MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman combine their versatile qualities with a particularly sporty appearance, go-kart driving qualities and impressive sound. Both models feature the all-wheel drive ALL4 as standard.

 

 Courtesy of BMW Group

 

 

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New BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe

The sports car of the future – now available in two body variants.

The sports car of the future – now available in two body variants. New BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe are under starter’s orders.
Both plug-in hybrid models feature further developed BMW eDrive technology, enabling longer range and more time in pure-electric mode.
World premiere of the BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2017, market launch from May 2018.

 

 

The new BMW i8 Coupe – Product Highlights. (11/2017)

  • The sports car of the future – now available in two body variants. New BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe are under starter’s orders. Both plug-in hybrid models feature further developed BMW eDrive technology, enabling longer range and more time in pure-electric mode. World premiere of the BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2017, market launch from May 2018.
  • New BMW i8 Roadster represents an innovative expression of freedom: Open-top motoring in an uncompromisingly sporty two-seater, pressing the eDrive button enables virtually silent and locally emission-free driving at up to 120 km/h. Emotionally powerful exterior design with an elegantly dynamic, stretched silhouette; visually lower centre of gravity.
  • Unique LifeDrive vehicle architecture and BMW i form language carried over into a captivating roadster concept. Model-specific body strengthening elements and gullwing doors feature the signature lightweight construction of BMW i models; windscreen frame also made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Inherent weight penalty of the new BMW i8 Roadster over the new BMW i8 Coupe limited to approximately 60 kilograms.
  • High-quality soft-top covers a large area and has a unique mechanism. All-electric roof opens and closes very quietly – at the touch of a button – in 15 seconds and while travelling at up to 50 km/h. Soft-top stows away in a space-saving perpendicular position, creating around 100 litres of additional storage space behind the seats.
  • Plug-in hybrid drive system with rigorously optimised BMW eDrive technology. Cell capacity of the lithium-ion high-voltage battery up from 20 to 34 Ah, gross energy capacity up from 7.1 to 11.6 kWh. Electric motor with max. output raised by 9 kW/12 hp to 105 kW/143 hp. Enhanced dynamics and markedly increased scope for locally emission-free driving. Driving with the electric motor alone is possible at up to 105 km/h (previously 70 km/h). Pressing the eDrive button pushes the pure-electric driving threshold up to 120 km/h. Electric range: 53 kilometres/33 miles* (BMW i8 Roadster), 55 kilometres/34 miles* (BMW i8 Coupe).
  • Three-cylinder petrol engine has an unchanged output of 170 kW/231 hp. Engine acoustics and emissions optimised with integrated particulate filter. Combined petrol consumption: 2.1 l/100 km * (BMW i8 Roadster), 1.9 l/100 km* (BMW i8 Coupe), CO2 emissions from petrol: 46 g/km* (BMW i8 Roadster), 42 g/km* (BMW i8 Coupe).
  • New BMW i8 Roadster has model-specific tuning for the springs, damping and Dynamic Stability Control. Both models come as standard with Dynamic Damper Control.
  • New BMW i8 Roadster fitted as standard with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design. Each wheel weighs approx. one kilogram less than the lightest rim previously available.
  • New E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic exterior paint finishes for the BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe. Carpo interior design is standard on both models, for the BMW i8 Roadster exclusively in Ivory White/Black and for the BMW i8 Coupe in Ivory White. New optional Accaro interior trim in Amido/E-Copper. Model-specific “Roadster”/“Coupe” lettering on the C-pillars.
  • Standard specification for both models comprises the Navigation system Professional, BMW Display Key, Driving Assistant incl. Surround View, and a mode 2 charging cable. Tile-based menu design in Control Display, with live mode. Options include BMW Head‑Up Display with model-specific content, non-dazzling BMW Laserlight with BMW Selective Beam, and acoustic pedestrian warning.
  • ConnectedDrive Services come as standard. BMW Connected personal mobility assistant enables extensive connectivity between the car and the customer’s digital lifestyle. New digital services include intelligent route planning (complete with refuelling stops at a charging station or filling station), sharing of the current trip status and highly personalised in-car displays.

 

 

Courtesy of BMW Group


 

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BMW Active Hybrid e-bike

It might just look like a regular old commuter bike with an unusually robust body, but BMW Lifestyle writing the next chapter in the success story of the BMW Bikes Collection and demonstrates once again how innovative technology and sophisticated design can come together into an aesthetically pleasing overall concept.

It might just look like a regular old commuter bike with an unusually robust body, but BMW Lifestyle writing the next chapter in the success story of the BMW Bikes Collection and demonstrates once again how innovative technology and sophisticated design can come together into an aesthetically pleasing overall concept.

The BMW Active Hybrid e-bike is equipped with a comprehensively revised drive concept, which makes its presence felt in the form of a significant power boost. The advanced Brose electric motor can be activated as required to supplement the rider’s pedal power. Producing output of 250 W and 90 Nm (66 lb-ft) of torque, the motor injects extra dynamism and serves up the agility for which BMW is renowned. Providing the energy for the electric pedal assistance – over a range of up to 100 km (62 miles) – is a removable 504 Wh battery. The rider can adjust the degree of pedal assistance with ease via the new display; four different power modes (from ECO (+50%) to TURBO (+275%)) can be selected up to a maximum 25 km/h (16 mph). Plus, the micro USB socket and Bluetooth function allow customers to hook their smartphone up to the bike.

 

The LED light integrated into the aluminium mudguard over the rear wheel maximises safety and adds a further design flourish.

 

 

Saddling up securely with the eZone.

E-bikes not only deliver an inimitable riding experience, they also place very specific demands on their saddles. Which is why saddle maker Selle Royale commissioned BMW Group subsidiary Designworks to develop the first-ever saddle tailored specifically to the requirements of e-bikers. The innovative form of the “eZone” (on sale since September) is based on a zonal concept fine-tuned to the particular attributes of e-bikes and the need profiles of their riders. A short nose, a rising seat surface at the rear and moving side wings create a stable seating position and improve balance when pushing off and braking. And they also ensure safety in typical e-bike acceleration situations. The eZone likewise convinces with an increase in comfort courtesy of three-zone padding featuring 3D Skingel and Royal Gel. Meanwhile, the fibreglass handle integrated into the underside of the saddle makes the bike easier to move around; e-bikes are often heavier than classic bicycles on account of their drive module.

 

The BMW Active Hybrid e-bike is now available from selected BMW dealers. All other models in the BMW bicycle range and related equipment can be purchased online at http://shop.bmw.com/.

Manufacturer’s recommended retail price:

BMW Active Hybrid e-bike: EUR 3,400.00




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Mercedes-AMG Project ONE

I think this is one of the most beautiful and coolest cars I have seen in a very long time.

Copyright Daimler. 

All Rights Reserved.

Mercedes-AMG brings Formula 1 technology to the road.

 

 

World première of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car:

Mercedes-AMG brings Formula 1 technology to the road.

 

 

Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, two-seater supersports car with the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology, high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system with 1.6 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine and four electric motors.

 

 

Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, zweisitziger Supersportwagen-mit modernster und effizientester Formel 1-Hybrid-Technologie, High Performance Plug-in Hybrid Antriebsstrang mit 1,6-Liter-V6-Turbobenzinmotor und vier Elektromotoren
Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, two-seater supersports car with the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology, high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system with 1.6 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine and four electric motors.

 


 

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MINI at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

Courtesy of BMW Group 

 

Double world premiere: MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept with a clear focus on extreme dynamic performance, MINI Electric Concept as a look ahead to locally emission-free driving fun – British premium brand presents the diversity of its model program and customisation options as well as the range of accessory and lifestyle products in Hall 11 of the Frankfurt trade fair centre.

 

MINI is shaping the future of urban mobility by providing driving fun in increasing diversity. At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the British premium brand gives visitors an impression of how the unmistakable MINI feeling will develop in future to cover a broader range beyond the current model program. Innovative concepts and technologies provide additional room for individual flair and highly emotional experiences, while continuing to enhance the thrilling agility and exemplary efficiency that are typical of MINI.

The world premiere of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept turns the brand’s stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show into a pit lane. The concept study conveys spontaneous readiness, offering a genuine foretaste of an extremely dynamic serial production model that is constantly able to demonstrate its race track suitability while at the same time reaching a new level of excellence in terms of driving fun in day-to-day traffic due to the fact that is approved for road use. Powerful proportions, expressive colours and exterior components that can be clearly seen to optimise both weight and aerodynamic properties – all this is already suggestive of outstanding performance properties.

The MINI Electric Concept showcased in Frankfurt for the first time embodies a whole new dimension of the brand’s characteristic go-kart feeling, now combining it with locally emission-free mobility. The concept vehicle conveys a message of sustainable urban transportation in MINI style while at the same time previewing a volume production model that will follow soon. The first purely electrically powered MINI to be manufactured in large-scale production will go on the road in 2019 – precisely 60 years after the classic Mini was first launched. It will make electromobility a highly emotional experience that combines driving fun, style and individual flair – as is characteristic of the MINI brand.

Success in racing and driving fun on the road: from the classic Mini’s triumph at the Monte Carlo rally 50 years ago and the MINI ACV 30 through to the present day.

Lots of driving fun on a small surface area – this traditional principle will remain an integral part of MINI in the future, too. It is a fundamental element of its character that is derived from spectacular motor racing success. 50 years ago the classic Mini achieved its third outright victory at the Monte Carlo Rally. Once again the British small car left the larger and more powerful competition behind it, finally cementing its status as an all-time legend. As long ago as 20 years there was a clear indication of how much the model’s racing career influenced not only the history of the classic Mini but also the development of the modern MINI. The MINI ACV 30 concept car was presented at the Monte Carlo Rally in January 1997.

The Anniversary Concept Vehicle came out right on time to mark the 30th anniversary of its third win at the “Monte” – and its powerful proportions caused a sensation on the streets of the Principality of Monaco. At the same time, the two-seater powered by a mid-mounted engine demonstrated how the classic Mini’s characteristic design features – such as the hexagon radiator grille and the large circular headlamps – could be transferred to a modern vehicle concept. As such, the MINI ACV 30 was not merely reminiscent of the brand’s origins: it was also a consistent recasting of the brand’s traditional values to meet the requirements of urban mobility in the 21st century. The foundation stone was laid for a new era full of driving fun and individual style in a variety of forms.

Diversity and individual character are also embodied by the other elements of the MINI trade fair showcase in Frankfurt. From 14 to 24 September, the British premium manufacturer presents a broad cross-section of its range, containing elements drawn from the current model program, its rich selection of optional equipment and the latest additions in the area of accessory and lifestyle products. The setting for this display of both current and future items is Hall 11 at the main entrance to the Frankfurt trade fair centre, a site that will be shared by the BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad brands.

 

 

 

Racing feeling with a tradition: MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept showcased at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show radiates pure power and uncompromising sporty flair. With a design inspired unmistakably by motor racing, it arouses the expectation of authentic, unadulterated and highly intense race feeling. Together with a spirited turbo engine and suspension technology designed for use on the race track, the exterior and interior of the concept study form a precisely harmonised overall package for a thrilling performance.

Compact dimensions, short overhangs, large tracks, optimised weight, a low centre of gravity and a balanced axle load distribution are design principles that helped the classic Mini three achieve overall victories at the Monte Carlo Rally along with other legendary motor racing triumphs five decades ago. The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept combines these principles with large front and rear aprons, aerodynamically optimised side sills and a striking roof spoiler. The extremely sporty style of the exterior design is underscored with a body finish in Black Jack Anthracite enhanced by accentuations in Curbside Red metallic and Highspeed Orange. The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and other lightweight materials is clearly visible, too. The authentic character of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is defined by perfect unity of form and function, with a design that promotes both performance qualities and a highly emotional look.

In the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept, traditional racing expertise and progressive technology form the basis for passionate driving fun – on both race track and road. In the interior, the roll-over cage, bucket seats, a puristically designed cockpit and the lack of a rear seat clearly indicate the sporty ambitions of the concept study. But this reduction to the absolute essentials is combined with state-of-the-art digitalisation, too: the MINI Head-Up Display facilitates concentration on what is happening on the road or race track, while the suspension settings can be adjusted by means of a touchscreen in the central instrument.

 

 

More driving fun, more style, no emissions: MINI Electric Concept.

The MINI Electric Concept is modern, purist and efficiently dynamic, providing a look ahead to a new form of urban mobility free of local emissions that still guarantees unmistakable driving fun. The spontaneous response of the electric motor to every movement of the accelerator adds a whole new dimension to hallmark brand agility. The powerful drive of the MINI Electric Concept draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, ensuring maximum range and typical MINI agility combined with emission-free mobility.

The MINI Electric Concept not only stands for increased driving fun, it also adds a touch more style in local emission-free city traffic. Its design combines hallmark brand proportions and design features with specific details reflecting the fact that is purely electrically powered. The radiator grille is closed for superior aerodynamics. There is also fibre glass attachment parts that reduce aerodynamic drag. The paint finish in Reflection Silver and Interchange Yellow is reminiscent of the MINI E presented in 2008. Produced in a small series of some 600, the latter was subjected to field tests in everyday driving conditions, thereby providing key insights for the development of the purely electrically powered BMW i3.

The MINI Electric Concept is the next step along the way to sustainable urban mobility. The BMW Group announced in July 2017 that the expansion of its model range to include electrically powered vehicles was to be a central pillar of its corporate strategy. In this connection, start of production of the first purely electric MINI was announced for 2019. Based on the MINI 3 door, the electric vehicle will be manufactured at the MINI plant in Oxford. Its drivetrain will be produced at the Dingolfing and Landshut sites – the competence centres for e-mobility within the BMW Group production network.

 

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The MINI goes electric

Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf preview the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand.

From - BMW Press Club:

Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf offer insight into this new near-series test vehicle, and explain how it retains go-kart feeling in the true spirit of a MINI during a test drive of this model.

“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.” The key to achieving this lies in intelligent energy management which is used to control how the combustion engine and electric motor operate together. For this reason, the first MINI plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun.

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. As usual,  you simply press the button to start the car – this vehicle, however, remains silent as the hybrid model always starts in electric mode. The rpm counter in the instrument cluster on the steering column has been replaced with a power display. Keeping a close eye on this display is particularly worthwhile for the first few kilometres as it informs the driver about the electric motor’s power reserves before the combustion engine fires up. When exactly the combustion engine starts varies depending upon on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operate the accelerator pedal.

“After a short time, the driver gets a feel for this”, promises Wolf. And this new driving experience promises a lot of driving fun. The hybrid MINI makes full use of the electric motor’s entire torque, which is available right from standstill, allowing for catapult-like acceleration. Even after leaving the slower pace of the city, this vehicle maintains its zero-tailpipe emissions at motorway speeds. The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provides power for long-lasting electric driving. AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits speeds of up to 80 km/h, whilst in MAX eDRIVE mode speeds of up to 125 km/h are possible. For Mackensen this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace.”

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Testing the vehicle himself, Mackensen puts the car through its paces and demonstrates that you need to step on the accelerator peddle very firmly indeed to activate the second power source. Then things really start happening. With the combined output of both drives, the first MINI hybrid vehicle demonstrates unparalleled acceleration performance when compared with its combustion-only siblings.

However, MINI’s go-kart driving characteristics consists of more than just fast acceleration. Above all, this hybrid MINI has to prove how precisely it handles when taking bends on the most exciting, twisting roads. This is where MINI’s plug-in hybrid concept plays its next trump card. “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants”, says Wolf, “and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept”. Thanks to the eDrive components, which are positioned very low down at the rear, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered and the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axle – ideal for achieving an even higher level of legendary MINI agility.

The Hybrid concept provides yet another benefit: the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels, the combustion engine to the front wheels. Since the intelligent energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction and drive stability are optimised via the drive system. “As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering”, explains Wolf.

Intelligent energy management offers a further opportunity for both power sources to work together effectively. Driving on the motorway, Mackensen activates a third mode with the eDrive toggle switch: SAVE BATTERY. In this mode, the combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or indeed increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in SAVE BATTERY mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later.

After driving in SAVE BATTERY mode, the MINI drives back into town in silence at the end of the test drive. The status display in the cockpit reminds the driver to recharge the battery via wallbox or power socket. Refuelling is not necessary yet because the MINI plug-in hybrid model merely took a small sip from the fuel tank. Yet another new dimension of MINIMALISM.

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