KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary by rolling out the Mini Cooper SE, its first mass-produced fully electric vehicle. It’s based on the current F56 Mini 3-door hatch and they have swapped the combustion engine for an electric motor that drives the front wheels.
The electric motor has a rated output of 184 hp and 270Nm of torque, and it’s a similar unit that’s powering the BMW i3s. The Mini Copper SE can accelerate from 0 to 60km/h in 3.9 seconds and it can hit 100km/h in 7.3 seconds. The top speed is limited to 150km/h.
On a full charge, the 32.6kWh lithium-ion battery pushes a range of 235 to 270km. The electric car can be charged with a household socket, a wall box or public charging stations. Charging via a wall charger at 11kW takes about three hours and a half to go from 0-100 per cent. It also supports 50kW fast direct-current charging that can charge from 0-80 per cent in just 35 minutes.
Typically, electric vehicles will sacrifice some luggage space due to the extra bulk from the batteries. According to Mini, there’s no such constraints and it retains the same 211 litres of luggage volume as the Mini three-door petrol engine version. If you need more, you can get up to 731 litres of space with the rear seats folded down.
The batteries on the Mini Cooper SE are made up with lithium-ion cells that are subdivided into 12 modules that form a T-shaped unit on the vehicle floor. To ensure sufficient ground clearance, the Mini Cooper SE’s body is positioned 18m higher than a normal Mini Cooper. Overall, it is 145kg heavier than the Mini Cooper S 3-door with Steptronic transmission.
On the inside, there are several touches to make the Mini Cooper SE standout from its combustion siblings. Behind the wheel is a 5.5″ colour screen as its digital instrument cluster and it also comes with a different gear selector lever. The car also gets an electric parking brake switch and the start/stop switch on the centre console now comes in yellow. In the middle, it gets a 6.5″ touch screen display and it’s also available with a larger 8.8″ option.
On the outside, you get a different grill that comes with a prominent Mini Electric Logo along with some yellow accents. Even the side mirrors are painted yellow as well. The Cooper SE gets a 16″ Mini Electric Revolite Spoke design wheels and there’s also the optional 17″ Mini Electric Corona Spoke wheels that come with an asymmetrical design.
At the moment, the Mini Cooper SE is available for pre-order in Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, with expected delivery sometime in March 2020. In the UK, the Mini Cooper SE is priced at £26,400 (RM122,705) for the base model, while the top spec version is going for £30,400. Interested customers can pre-order with a £500 deposit.
As a comparison, the Tesla Model 3 standard range model is officially priced at £38,050 in the UK and it has a range of 254 miles (408km) and a top speed of 140mph (225km/h). On top of that, it can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 5.3 seconds.
For those who can splurge more, the performance model with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system costs £48,590 and it offers a rated range of 329 miles (529km). It also boasts a top speed of 162mph (260km/h) and it can accelerate to 60mph in just 6.2 seconds. — SoyaCincau