LOS ANGELES -- Mini will launch two electrified vehicles in the next three years, starting with a plug-in hybrid version of the redesigned Countryman that is due next year.
A electric car will follow in 2019, using the architecture of a current model but with more distinct styling to set it apart from the gasoline model, said Sebastian Mackensen, global head of the Mini brand.
Mini is trimming its product range to five volume models, including the Cooper hardtop, Cooper convertible, Clubman wagon and Countryman crossover. The electric car will be the fifth model in the lineup.
The new Countryman, which debuts next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be bigger than the current model and a more suitable player in the crossover market, Mackensen said.
As for the electric car, he said Mini has sensed customer demand.
"Mini by nature and or customer way of life is an urban brand already, and electric will play a bigger role in the urban environment," he said.
He would not predict volume but said "it will not be a limited edition. It depends on the legal environment, and we will see a lot of change in customer preference," Mackensen said.