Honda is set to join the electric vehicle ranks, confirming it will display a battery-powered concept auto at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show alongside the European debut of the CR-V Hybrid. The concept looks very much like a stylized traditional Mini, though with design oddities such as yellow accents and a filled-in grille design. The electric auto will be based on Mini's signature Hardtop body style and be built at the brand's main plant in Oxford, United Kingdom.
It follows the launch of the company's first electrified auto, the Countryman plug-in hybrid, which went on sale earlier this year. The new concept-a bit of a throwback from previous electric concepts-previews Mini's first expected electric production vehicle, due out in 2019.
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Electric Minis are nothing new.
As you can see, the 2017 Mini Electric Concept is just a gutted hardtop Mini coupe that runs on the magic of electricity, set for production in the far-flung futures of 2019. BMW says it will have "a powerful electric motor". Nearly ten years ago BMW conducted a massive "field study" with 600 Mini Es, which it leased to committed eco-enthusiasts in the US, UK, Germany and others. According to the vehicle maker, the Electric Concept is designed for urban areas and for those who have to travel short distances. The door mirror caps are yellow, too, and incorporate a "Mini E" badge, and there is another huge "E" badge behind the front wheels on the doors.
Out back, the taillights have been redesigned to incorporate the Union Jack, because Mini never passes up an opportunity to fly its flag from as many angles as possible. The aerodynamic inlays, by the way, are made using a 3D printing process. Below that, the simulated "air intakes" are also sealed, but they still include dark louvres that look like cooling fins.
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