The new Mini Cooper SE EV is the right car for you if you have been yearning for modern-day driving in a retro British hatch. Mini wants the hot-hatchback to maximize on the low center of gravity of the battery and the instant torque of the electric powertrain. If this prototype were an animal, then it would be a chameleon because it has been greatly camouflaged. However, we expect it to come with some S features like more aggressive-looking fascias, bigger wheels, and red stripes. It will go down as the automaker’s first electric vehicle. Reports suggest that Mini is more concerned about fun than frugality.
This EV has a weight of 1,360kg – an increase of 130 kg when compared to its sibling, the combustion-engined Cooper S. The battery pack has a weight of 200kg. The boot capacity and interior space has stayed pretty much the same. You can choose between 16 or 17-inch wheels. Mini wanted to protect the battery and that’s why they slightly raised the ride height. Meanwhile, the discreet filler cap carries the charging socket in the rear.
What does the interior offer?
The interior of the prototype was camouflaged, but we could still tell that it will come with cheeky design elements, a center-mounted speedometer as well as numerous driver-assistance and infotainment features. We also noticed that it has a spacious cabin that will be tight for four but roomy for two. The digital instrument panel sports a pod. The round center console comes with its usual traditional, rectangular infotainment screen. Mini will provide more information about the interior closer to the Cooper’s launch.
When will it arrive?
Mini and Madonna have something in common; they’re both 60 years old, but they look like hot teenagers. The British automaker will be celebrating its 60th anniversary when it unveils the New Mini Cooper SE EV later this year. Minis has not announced the pricing of the new Mini Cooper EV, but some UK sources have suggested that it might cost around 30,000 pounds, this means that the SE is 10,000 pounds pricier than an ordinary petrol-powered Cooper S. This vehicle will be available for sale in 2020.
What is the driving experience like?
According to reports, the EV features Mini's trademark "go-kart handling." The steering feels a little weighty while the accelerator pedal offers a linear response. The MINI Cooper EV is just the same as its petrol sibling when it comes to corners; the driver can drive confidently because of the excellent levels of grip. In addition to this, we love that the front reacts quickly when the vehicle moves in different directions. When the suspension is stiffened slightly, it is easy to feel the extra weight of the Cooper SE. Although the ride is firm, it remains comfortable enough. This means that this car is very agile, maybe even more than any electric vehicle in the market.
What drives it?
The Cooper comes with the BMW i3’s powertrain, but unlike the Bimmer, it has been modified to drive the front wheels. The EPA approximates that you will get 114 miles from the i3's 33.8-kWh battery. For the three-door EV, you can expect approximately 270Nm and 135kW. These numbers are about the same as the ones from the petrol-powered Cooper S (280Nm and 141kW). We are yet to confirm whether the EV will also come with the optional BMW top-of-the-line gasoline engine.
How does it fair when compared to its rivals?
The New Mini Cooper SE EV offers flawless acceleration even on slippery roads; it does this with no hint of skidding tires. It achieves this by applying traction control using an Active Slip Regular. This feature allows this EV to set the pace for competitors like Kia e-Niro and the Hyundai Kona Electric. On the negative side, the Mini falters with its small range of 120 miles which cannot match up to its competitors like Peugeot e-208 which comes with more than 200 miles. However, we still think that the Mini's got enough goodies to satisfy its loyal customers. At the moment, it seems that this EV is destined for city-based driving.