BMW Announces First-Ever Plug-In Hybrid MINI; Here’s Why it Will Be More Fun-to-Drive Than the Standard Model
The big news isn’t that BMW is developing a new plug-in hybrid MINI, even more interesting is the fact that it will be more fun-to-drive than the standard model. What will change its driving dynamics?
Everyone knows about the standard MINI’s sporty handling. But the MINI is front-drive which limits its abilities. Here’s why the new MINI plug-in hybrid will be more fun to drive. BMW says the new PHEV MINI won’t use electric motors to power all four wheels.
The new MINI’s front wheels are only driven when the internal combustion engine kicks in. So while it’s in all-electric mode, the MINI hybrid will be powered by the rear wheels only, making this the first-ever rear-wheel-drive factory MINI. BMW says, the powertrain allows the car to be driven on pure electric power at speeds of up to 78 mph.
This will make the new MINI a hoot to drive in rear-drive configuration at faster speeds than other plug-in hybrids. It looks like the first hybrid MINI will likely be a Countryman. It should be available in MINI showrooms sometime late 2017. The new drivetrain configuration should ramp up the fun-to-drive meter over the standard model.