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Mini's Frankfurt concept has a boring name, electrifying looks

Mini Electric Concept isn't the most original name, but that's what it is.


Mini promised that its first mass-produced electric vehicle would be a variant of the traditional Cooper Hardtop. Now, we've got a concept that gives us our best look yet at what's to come.

Mini will use the Frankfurt Motor Show to debut its Mini Electric Concept, a very unoriginally named concept that previews the future of Mini's electric ambitions. Built for use in urban areas, you can expect to see this concept become reality in 2019.

Now playing: Watch this: Mini going all EV with its latest Electric Concept

While the concept looks pretty close to the original, there are some major changes that give away its electric drivetrain. The grille and headlights have been tweaked to account for the fact that the electric motor doesn't need a massive front-mounted hole shoving air into the engine bay -- by closing it, Mini actually improves the aerodynamics.

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. Naturally, being an electric vehicle in 2017, there are "Mini E" badges all over the place, because everyone must know the car is electric, or else it ceases to function (not really).

Sadly, Mini did not divulge any powertrain specs when it unveiled the Electric Concept. We'll probably have to wait until the actual car's debut in 2019 to learn more about what powers it and what owners can expect in terms of range.

The eventual EV that comes from this concept will only be one part of BMW's grand first act of electrification. BMW will also unveil a battery-electric variant of the X3 crossover some time before 2021 but after the Mini's debut. Eventually, the company wants to offer electrified variants of all its vehicles across both the Mini and BMW brands, whether that means battery-electric vehicles or mere plug-in hybrids.