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Mini Working on Two New Electric-Powered SUVs

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We can expect some changes and additions to the Mini range of models in the next few years, the company announced today. The BMW-owned brand is preparing a major overhaul of its lineup, highlighted by the introduction of new electric offerings, among them two new SUVs.

One will be roughly the size of the present Countryman, but the other will be bigger. It will be powered by an electric motor, but may well also be produced with conventional powertrains. Picture a Mini SUV the size of a BMW X3.

That means it won’t technically be very "Mini" anymore, but anyways. The name Paceman might return as its designation.

The two new SUVs, as well as the electric Cooper currently on the market, will be the only products from the brand to be powered by electricity in the short term. For the other models in the lineup, the automaker plans to introduce plug-in hybrid variants.

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2021 Mini Cooper SE
Photo: V.Aubé
2021 Mini Cooper SE

The smaller of the two new SUVs will be the first to be developed and assembled by Spotlight Automotive, the new joint venture created in 2019 between Mini and China's Great Wall Motors. The latter company was formed with the goal of producing and offering electric vehicles for sale in China and export markets. Production of this Mini SUV is scheduled to begin in 2023.

It’s not known at this point if it will be introduced in North America.

The larger electric-powered SUV is designed for North America, a region where the Countryman is considered too small by many consumers. It's not scheduled to arrive until 2024, however. Pretty much everything remains to be confirmed regarding this model, but it could share the BMW X3's rear-wheel drive CLAR platform, which means it could be built in the same places where the X3 is currently assembled, either in China or in the United States.

Finally, because Mini must also update its other products, the firm is working on the fourth-generation model of the Cooper. It won't be ready for a few years, however.

See also: 2021 Mini Cooper SE Review: 3 doors, 1 electric motor, 0 gas engines

2021 Mini Countryman, electric logo
Photo: Mini
2021 Mini Countryman, electric logo