The unrelenting march of electric power continues – this is the all-new Mini Electric. Launched at Mini’s plant in Oxford, where the car will be built, you can already order it from your nearest Mini dealership.
Prices start at £24,400 for the entry-level car, and rise to £30,400 for the range-topper. Deliveries are set to start in March next year. And before you ask, Mini quotes a WLTP range of between 124 and 144 miles.
By comparison, the Kia e-Niro has a range of 282-miles, and the imminent Peugeot e-208 is said predicted to have a range to 211 miles.
How far can it go?
So let’s deal with the all-important ‘range anxiety’ basics first. If you’re charging on a 50kW rapid DC charger, you’ll get an 80 per cent top-up in 35 minutes. Using an AC 11kW charger will take 2.5 hours for 80 per cent, or 3.5 hours for a full charge. The charging flap is positioned where the petrol Cooper S’s filler cap would normally be.
And worth highlighting that while the car is named ‘Mini Electric’, the badge on the boot actually says ‘Cooper S”. Why? Well BMW Mini says it’s a way of denoting the comparable level of performance against the regular lineup.
So, where does the power come from, and how much is there? Under the bonnet is a 181bhp electric motor lifted from the BMW i3S. Powered by 32.5kWh a battery pack, Mini says it will hit 62mph from standstill in 7.3secs and max out at 93mph.
Because the battery pack is positioned horizontally down the middle of the car (where a petrol-powered Cooper S’s exhaust system and transmission tunnel would normally lie) the resulting space in the rear seats and in the boot remains the same as conventional petrol and diesel versions of the Mini.
What does it look like?
Externally, there are only subtle styling tweaks to set the electric Mini apart from more conventionally-powered cars in the range. Sitting 15mm higher off the road than normal hatch, the EV gets a new rear bumper with a smoother design – that’s achieved simply because it now doesn’t need to incorporate the Cooper S’s twin exhaust pipes.
There’s another new bumper at the front. This one has been extended by 19mm to incorporate more pedestrian crash safety tech. The EV’s designers have retained the Copper S’s bonnet scoop, but it’s cosmetic only as the intake has been blocked off. Same with the grille.
Buyers get the choice of incorporating either an ‘Energetic’ yellow stripe or an ‘Invigorate’ grey one into the grille. There’s also a yellow ‘S’ badge on the boot lid and yellow ‘E’ badges on the scuttles.
There are more aerodynamic enhancements in the door mirrors, which have been pinched from the recently facelifted Mini Clubman.
Inside the Mini Electric, the yellow theme continues appearing on the Start/Stop toggle switch. There’s a new infotainment scroll wheel and an electric handbrake replaces the manual on from the Cooper S. The biggest change though is the elliptical screen with speed, power and electric range data, which places the analogue clock for the speedo and rev counter.
Pricing and trim levels
There will be three trim levels — Mini has yet to confirm what they’ll be called — beginning with the standard trim, with a lease price starting at £299/month and list price of £24,400, after the government plug-in car grant has been applied.
The mid-level offers a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as adding rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection. The mid-level style Mini Electric is available at £26,400, including the grant.
The range-topping model adds front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system and Head-up Display. It also adds a Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and provides an upgrade to the 8.8 inch infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to Mini Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours. The top style Mini Electric starts at £30,400, including the grant.
For buyers who aren’t fans of yellow, the options sheet allows them to replace their car’s ‘Energetic’ yellow door mirrors and a new alloy wheel design with grey. In addition they can go for a grey, black or body-coloured roof and the same alloy wheels on conventional Cooper and Cooper S models at no extra cost.