Chinese company to build knock-off electric MINI

Published on May 21, 2022 at 2:44 PM (UTC+4)
by Louise Cheer

Last updated on May 21, 2022 at 3:00 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Chinese company to build knock-off electric MINI

A Chinese company is planning to build an electric car clone of the iconic MINI.

And BMW Group (who owns the MINI brand) is not happy about it.

In the patent photos of the hatchback filed by Beijing Estech Technology, it looks like a MINI was put into a photocopier and printed in greyscale.

Image: Beijing Estech Technology and MINI

The Chinese car is straight out of MINI’s design of the 1960s.

It’s got two doors, those famous circular headlights and small wheels.

It’s also got rounded side mirrors.

Other than what’s in the patent filings, we don’t really know much about the design of this new hatchback.

But Car News China reported a battery pack will sit under the EV’s floor.

Another difference from the original MINI is the addition of an antenna on the front of the car.


Launched in 1959, the original MINI was built with economy in mind as fuel prices soared (kind of like fuel prices right now).

Despite its small size, it still had to carry four adults.

It was tiny and fuel-efficient, and most importantly – cheap.

As we said, we don’t really know what’s inside the Chinese knock-off, but the original was built to create as much passenger space as possible.

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Its wheels were pushed “all the way out to the corners” and the engine was turned “sideways giving the car more stability in tight turns”, according to the MINI website.

When news emerged of this copycat, the BMW Group, who own MINI, weren’t pleased and were looking into legal options.

“For the BMW Group, responsible and lawful conduct is an integral part of corporate values and a global guiding principle,” a BMW spokesperson told

“We are examining legal action in connection with the targeted design protection of the classic MINI in China. Please understand that the company will not comment further at this point in time.”


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Louise Cheer

Louise Cheer oversees and writes stories about the latest headlines on topics such as automotive, technology, gaming, watches, movies and lifestyle. Louise has been a news editor at Yahoo and Daily Mail in Australia, with more than 10 years of experience in the media industry.