The first all-new Mini hatch in close to a decade – and the first built in China for the world – has been snapped during a photo shoot ahead of its global unveiling.
The 2024 Mini Cooper electric hatchback has been photographed without camouflage during a photo shoot in the US, ahead of its global unveiling later this year.
The new three-door Mini – now officially known as the Cooper – will be available in two versions: a petrol-powered, UK-built model on similar underpinnings to the current car, and a new Chinese-built electric version on a dedicated electric platform developed with China’s Great Wall Motors.
Due for unveiling later this year ahead of European showroom arrivals in 2024, it is the electric model that has been spied here, wearing California licence plates and seen following a camera car on the streets of Los Angeles.
Pictured in 160kW Cooper S form, the production Mini Cooper Electric’s design is consistent with leaked photos out of China 18 months ago, with a simpler, cleaner take on Mini’s traditional design cues.
MORE: New Mini Cooper hatch due next year with petrol or electric power – report
The large circular bug-eyed headlights, a large front grille (or at least the surround for one), blacked-out roof pillars and contrasting roof and mirror caps remain, with shorter overhangs than the current petrol-powered car.
There are flush door handles similar to the latest BMW models, while the current Mini’s rounded rectangle-shaped tail-lights have been swapped for sharper triangular units with a new style of Union Jack signatures (which show the blue inside of the flag, not the red and white lines).
Previous leaked photos (below) have shown a minimalist interior with a large circular central touchscreen – which also serves as the instrument cluster – with a head-up display ahead of the driver, and a row of toggle switches.
Overseas reports say new petrol and electric Minis will use an ignition key – despite the EV not having an engine – in a nod to older Mini models.
The new electric Mini Cooper is expected to be available in two models at launch: an entry-level E with a 40kWh battery and 135kW electric motor, and a sportier SE with a 54kWh battery and 160kW motor.
According to the UK’s Autocar, driving range will be rated at 386km in the Cooper E, up from 233km of today’s Mini Cooper SE (32.6kWh). A figure for the larger battery has not been announced.
The 2024 Mini Cooper electric hatch is due to be unveiled towards the end of this year, ahead of first overseas showroom arrivals in May 2024.