MINI's long awaited all-electric car is finally here. Named simply the MINI Electric in the UK (and MINI Cooper S E elsewhere), the new car from the brand combines a modified version of their classic styling with an all-electric drivetrain.
Retaining the compact size of the current MINI Hatch, new battery technology has meant that interior space hasn’t been compromised – a problem that the original MINI E Concept struggled with back in 2008. As with the 2008 concept – of which 500 units were created – the aim was to create an affordable electric city car that offers a great entry-point into the technology.
Featuring a motor on the front wheels, the MINI Electric uses a 32.6kWh battery, housed beneath the passenger seat, to produce 181hp, 199lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph sprint of 7.3 seconds. Fully charged, the battery offers a range of around 145 miles – perfect for the MINI Electric’s focus on city driving.
MINI say that the battery can be charged to 80% in just 35 minutes when using a 50kW charging point, through a standard public charging cable. Using an 11kW wall box, like you would at home, the MINI Electric can be charged to 80% in 150 minutes and 100% in 210 minutes; which makes it ideal for overnight charging, coffee break top-ups or charging whilst at work.
Styling wise, the MINI Electric takes a familiar design and adds subtle tweaks to make it distinctive from the rest of the range. The main differences here are the redesigned front grille, ‘Energetic yellow’ detailing and electric plug icon.
There’s also the option to spec the same ‘Corona-Spoke’ wheels that were originally fitted to the concept version we saw a few months ago.
Speaking of the exterior, Product Manager Chris Himsworth told Autocar:
“We always wanted this car to look conventional,”
“Other EVs can be quite polarising, and the customers are put off by the design. But we’re hoping the familiar character of the MINI, combined with the benefits of electric drive, will be a strong draw. Customers can make their MINI Electric stand out more or less by their choice of colour and wheel combinations.”
The cabin, whilst familiar in layout, sees an increase in technology that includes a digital instrument display – that seems to float behind the steering wheel – a sat-nav with real-time traffic data and the ability to find charging points and, Apple CarPlay and cruise control as standard.
Higher and optional spec items include keyless entry and start, a head-up display, heated seats and various parking assistance systems, to name but a few things.
The MINI Electric will be manufactured at the brand’s Cowley factory in Oxfordshire, with production starting in November and customer deliveries beginning in March 2020. The decision to build the car in the UK shows a continued investment in UK manufacturing despite earlier no-deal Brexit worries.
As soon as the MINI Electric begins arriving in Sytner dealerships, we’ll be sure to bring you more information. Fancy getting one of your own? The MINI Electric is now available for pre-order, simply contact your local dealership for more information: