A redesigned Mini Hardtop is set for reveal later this year, and prototypes are currently undergoing cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle.
Top Gear has learned that Mini will finally drop the Hardtop name it currently uses for the signature two- and four-door hatch models and revert to calling them Coopers. Currently Cooper is just a grade.
Mini has confirmed it will offer the choice of gas and electric power, but this time around it will add multiple electric variants. The electric models will also use a separate platform than the gas-powered variants, though the two should feature mostly identical styling.
According to Top Gear, the base electric grade will be a Cooper E with a 40-kwh battery and 181 hp on tap. Above this will reportedly be a Cooper SE with a 54-kwh battery and 215 hp.
Compare that to the current Cooper SE Hardtop, which has a 32.6-kwh battery rated by the EPA at just 110 miles of range. The piddling performance is partially due to the car riding on a platform originally designed for gas power.
Interestingly, an electric John Cooper Works grade is also coming, Mini revealed in 2020.
Mini will launch the new Cooper in electric guise. Production of the electric variants will be handled in China as part of an agreement made with Great Wall Motors in 2018. Production of gas variants will remain in Mini's current home of Oxford, U.K.
Mini this year will also launch a redesigned Countryman, which will also offer the choice of gas or electric power. The new Countryman, which will be the first Mini to be built in Germany, is set to grow slightly in size to make space in Mini's lineup for a smaller, fully electric crossover that will likely go by the Aceman name.