Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf previewed the brand’s coming first plug-in hybrid model; series development process for this car has almost been completed.
AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits all-electric speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph), while in MAX eDRIVE mode, speeds of up to 125 km/h (78 mph). are possible. Said head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen, this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace.”
With the eDrive component positioned very low down at the rear, and the high-voltage battery placed under the rear seats, the car’s center of gravity is lowered and the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axle.
In the MINI hybrid concept, the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels, the combustion engine to the front wheels. Since the intelligent energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction and drive stability are optimized via the drive system.
As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering.—Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf
Intelligent energy management offers a further opportunity for both power sources to work together effectively. Ini a third mode, SAVE BATTERY, the combustion engine powers the car while the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or increase its charge via a generator. Extended driving in SAVE BATTERY mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later.
With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.—Sebastian Mackensen
With the combined output of both drives, the first MINI hybrid vehicle demonstrates outstanding acceleration performance when compared with its combustion-only siblings.
As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants, and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept.—Peter Wolf