We've been spying on the fourth generation of the modern Mini for a while now, but this is the first time the BMW-owned brand is providing an official preview of its revamped hatchback. Shown here in three-door form with an electric powertrain, the stylish city car is expected to once again offer a more practical five-door body style as well as conventional gasoline and diesel engines.
Since it won't arrive until 2023, it's no wonder the British marque is being tight-lipped about the new hatch. However, the camouflage can't disguise the familiar shape and design cues we've been seeing since the original modern Mini was introduced back in 2000. Images of the interior have not been provided, but it's fairly obvious this Cooper SE has a screen atop the center console.
Gallery: 2023 Mini teasers
Speaking of the cabin, Mini has already announced its next-generation cars will be pushed upmarket while taking out leather. In an interview last month with Autocar, design boss Oliver Heilmer said: "For the next-generation car, we looked at the beginning of Mini to see if there were any elements on it simply because they [the design team] wanted them. Any decoration? They didn't. So, let's try to reduce again and focus on what’s necessary, but not too practical and without emotion. We will bring in warmth again with colors and fabrics. When you have fewer elements, it's more important that the fabrics have warmth to compensate."
The Mini range will once again include a convertible, and this time around, production will take place in Oxford rather than being handled by the VDL Nedcar automotive manufacturing company in The Netherlands. Enthusiasts are hoping there will once again be a John Cooper Works, which would likely be the last one with a combustion engine since Mini wants to go all-electric by 2030. Before that happens, a zero-emissions JCW has already been teased.
Since Mini is previewing the Cooper SE, we need to talk about range. Given the projected advancements in terms of battery tech, surely (and hopefully) it will be improved over the current 2022MY variant, which has enough juice for only 114 miles (183 kilometers) or 14 miles more than the Mazda MX-30 – the EV with the lowest range in the United States.