It's no secret that Mini's fortunes have not been good lately. In the first half of this year, Mini has only moved 17,583 cars of its five model lineup in the U.S. Parent company BMW needs to do something. Last month, Mini unveiled the all-electric version of the Mini-Cooper with a range between 146 and 167 miles. Now, a report out from Automobile Magazine says that Mini has canceled the internal combustion engine versions for the entire model range in the next generation of cars.
Starting in 2023, Mini will use a skateboard style chassis to underpin the entire lineup. There will be a new downsized mini... a MiniMini, a more compact 3-door version, and a Mini crossover. All would be front-wheel drive and offer 35-kWh or 50-kWh battery packs. Part of the development is being done by China's Great Wall Motors.
The electric Minis will be built in China with no word on other manufacturing locations. This follows Daimler's strategy on SMART to make it an all EV brand and build it in China for Chinese consumption.
Wheels for the week: 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE. We'll be taking this one on a trip to Virginia and testing out how close to the 37mpg highway rating we'll get. It's equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which means I'll have radar cruise control for the trip (Yay!). The shocking part is the price: $28,084 for a Corolla that doesn't even have the biggest engine. But it's got heated seats, so that will keep Albert Maisto happy.