Currently reading: New Mini hatch officially shown ahead of 2023 launch
UK-built Fiat 500 rival is set to arrive with ICE and EV powertrains

This is our first look at the next-generation Mini three-door hatchback, which is due to be launched in 2023. It will spearhead a wide-ranging reform of the Mini line-up, under which the brand will enter new segments, overhaul its production processes and go completely electric by the early 2030s.

The hatchback will continue to be built at Oxford (which will also host production of the Convertible variant, currently built by VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands, from 2025), with Mini committing to the future of its British factory as “the home of the Mini brand”. 

Despite the car’s heavy camouflage, it’s plain to see that Mini’s flagship model will retain the squat, compact proportions that have been core to its appeal since it was relaunched by BMW in 2000. 

However, revamped lights at each end hint at the extensive visual refresh for the Fiat 500 rival, which has been on sale in its current form since 2013. 

It will still be offered with a choice of pure-combustion and electric powertrains. Mini says that cars with “highly efficient petrol and diesel engines” will continue to serve “groups and regions” that aren’t ready to make the shift to pure-EV motoring.

The new three-door hatch is also likely to be joined by a five-door variant, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed. Mini’s 2023 three-door will pioneer an all-new interior design, which uses new technology to expand its personalisation options. 

Details are unconfirmed, but Mini has said the instrument panel “will have surfaces acting as “canvases that can be tailored by the customer to suit their requirements”, essentially allowing the cabin to be redesigned at will.

The three-door hatch will arrive alongside a pair of all-new small cars developed in China. One of these is expected to be the ultracompact Minor supermini and the other a compact crossover positioned beneath the upsized Countryman

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The two new additions will be built in eastern China by Great Wall Motors as part of a joint venture between the two firms. They will help Mini to achieve its goal of pure-EVs accounting for 50% of global sales by 2027, although they will also be offered with combustion engines. Mini will launch its final combustion car in 2025. 

Elsewhere, the brand has provided another clue that its radical, sustainability-focused Urbanaut concept will reach production in some form. It said it’s developing “a new vehicle concept for the premium compact segment” that will major on space, comfort and flexibility in much the same way as that futuristic MPV. 

An all-electric future is planned for Mini’s John Cooper Works performance line, too. The firm says it’s “intensively” developing hot EV models. As reported earlier this year by Autocar, the first model in this line will be a hardcore, performance-focused version of the current Mini Electric, with styling influence from the radical Pacesetter Formula E pace car and chassis revisions showcasing how JCW will adapt its core dynamic traits for EVs. 

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catnip 3 November 2021

The windscreen is more raked back, so maybe that helps with visually reducing the frontal bulk slightly, its difficult to tell with the camouflage. I was hoping for smaller light units front and back, and a simpler interior design, though I fear that will just mean everything on a touchscreen.

Tristan Hunt-Walker 3 November 2021

If you look closely at the door handles, they look very similar to the ones you get in the i4. 

scotty5 3 November 2021

The hatchback will continue to be built at Oxford (which will also host production of the convertible variant, currently built by VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands, from 2025)

You mean post Brexit, production will be moving from Europe to the UK?  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on a remoaner passing comment on this news story.  Ha ha ha.

Tristan Hunt-Walker 3 November 2021

Unbelievable, isn't it? I remember being told that if we voted to Leave the EU car plants like Nissan Sunderland would close down? Not only has that not happened, but Nissan have invested hundreds of millions into their Sunderland Plant since Brexit and now MINI are moving production for the convertible from the Netherlands to England. But it's all just one big disaster Brexit, isn't it?

Sulphur Man 3 November 2021

If only it were that simple

Nissan have a magic money tree, the British Taxpayer tree. And very fruitful it is too. They'll keep harvesting that tree year after year. Remember British Leyland? Like that. Again.  

Do your research. 

John Savill 3 November 2021

To be correct, Nissan made it clear that tariffs would make the UK business unviable. As there are almost no tariffs then that doesn't apply.

Like all manufacturers, you either invest in EV or in 10 years, close. In this case, the decision to invest was made after the terms of leaving the EU were known. The question you need to answer is whether that would have been made earlier without Brexit, and if there had been tariffs whether the decision to invest would have been made at all, and the UK business run down on a model by model basis. You wouldn't just shut up shop with all the sunk cost you have in a huge manufacturing plant.

Profits on car manufacturing are low. You can of course increase your prices to cover tariffs if you are a brand like Rolls Royce where the demand is not so elastic to price, but in the mass market it is a killer if your costs go up by 10% and you try and increase your prices accordingly. Sales drop off and the proportion of fixed costs per vehicle goes up. You quickly end up back where you started. That's why large volumes count for so much in terms of profit.

John Savill 3 November 2021

BMW announced it is moving all production from Nedcar in-house.  - Countryman will go to Germany. Convertible, which is quite low volume, will come to the UK. I expect you will find that the decision was made on grounds of the platform variant they will be built on. 

BMW will use more of their own capacity and therefore will be more efficient as the fixed cost per vehicle will be reduced. By producing in-house they won't need to cover the additional cost of Nedcar's profit.