New 2023 MINI Electric: Leaked images appear online

The next-generation MINI Electric hatchback will arrive in 2023, but pictures of the car undisguised in China have now appeared on social media

The next-generation 2023 MINI Electric has been photographed testing without camouflage in China (above), with the images appearing on various social media accounts online. MINI previously issued its own 'spy shots' of a camouflaged prototype (see gallery below), but these unofficial pictures give us a much better idea of what the final product will look like.

The front end of the car is not radically different to the current model, but the back has been heavily restyled, with a new, aggressive-looking triangular design for the tail-lights. Inside, the trademark MINI circular dashboard display remains, but in the new car it takes the form of a slim, disc-shaped touchscreen that's mounted to the dashboard rather than nestling within it.

MINI confirmed earlier in 2021 that it'll transition to an electric-only brand by 2030, as well as providing some details of the next electrified models it'll introduce as it works towards that milestone. The fourth generation of the modern MINI hatchback will still be offered with a choice of electric or petrol power, but in a smaller package than the current model. The electric version will rival the Renault ZOE, Honda e and Fiat 500.

Earlier in 2021, we learned that the next-generation MINI Electric will also be available in convertible form, with the forthcoming Fiat 500 Cabrio and Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio rival to be launched by 2025. However, beyond that, MINI has yet to confirm any further details about the forthcoming electric hatchback.

The next-generation MINI hatchback will be followed up by a new crossover from the brand, which will similarly be offered in pure-electric or combustion-engined form. However, details about this model also remain thin on the ground, including its name.

The British brand is also working on a successor to the current Countryman family SUV – which is offered in plug-in hybrid form. This is also set to arrive in 2023, along with a new vehicle concept that according to MINI “will meet the wishes of many customers for additional space and comfort, and increased variability." This could potentially be a production version of the MINI Vision Urbanaut concept, unveiled in June 2021.

MINI has also confirmed it’s developing concepts for some electrified John Cooper Works (JCW) models, one of which we expect will be a hot version of its electric hatchback.

Head of MINI Bernd Koerber previously hinted at this possibility, and the brand has released photos of a camouflaged fully electric JCW MINI undergoing testing at the Nurburgring race circuit in Germany (above).

It has also supplied a prototype 'MINI Pacesetter' electric safety car to the FIA Formula E electric racing championship, and said this could also point the way to a future roadgoing high-performance electric model.

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