Mini is preparing the fourth generation of its modern lineup and the first member to arrive will be a redesigned hardtop.
Previously, we brought you spy photos of the electric version of the redesigned Hardtop (shown below), and now we’ve got spy photos of the redesigned Hardtop powered by an internal combustion engine. Both will launch in 2023 as models in 2024.
This time, the electric Hardtop will be based on a dedicated electric vehicle platform developed by BMW Group and its Chinese partner Great Wall Motors. Production of the electric hardtop will also be carried out in China and there will be at least two versions.
The ICE-powered hardtop will be a heavy update of the old Hardtop rather than a real redesign, and this is reflected in the spy photos that show a design similar to the old model. This makes sense as the Mini plans to switch to EV power this decade and has even pegged 2025 as the date when its last ICE-powered model will hit the market.
While the exterior design won’t change much, we expect the interior to adopt a new design that will be shared with the electric hardtop. Mini has previously hinted at a digital dashboard, where a single panel contains a screen for both the watch cluster and the infotainment center.
The platform for the hardtop provided by ICE will be the BMW Group’s FAAR platform for front-wheel drive vehicles. It was a development of the UKL platform that underpinned the first model, which meant the ability to use plug-in hybrid power.
Production of the hardtop supplied by ICE will be carried out at the BMW Group’s factory in Oxford, UK, where the used model is built. Once again there may be a four-door Hardtop, although the Mini has yet to confirm plans for one. The relevant conversion is also a sure bet.
The next few years will be very busy for Mini as the brand innovates its product line and adds new model lines. The redesigned Countryman will launch in 2023, offering both ICE and electric options. We also know two more crossovers joining the lineup. One will be a dedicated EV of the same size as the Countryman. It will launch in 2023 and could revive the Paceman name. Another is expected to be larger than the Countryman and offer ICE and power options. We will see this model in 2024.
Sadly, it seems that mini no longer plans to launch a smaller model than the Hardtop.