The first fully-electric MINI Cooper SE has officially made its world premiere, with BMW giving the closest look yet at the vehicle during a press conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The spontaneous power delivery of its 135 kW/184 hp motor, the brand-specific front-wheel drive, and the innovative driving dynamics system with wheel slip limiting close to the actuator, give the new MINI Cooper SE a particularly intense and unmistakable agility, known as the go-kart feeling. Its model-specific lithium-ion battery enables a range of 235 to 270 kilometres (146 to 167 miles). The high-voltage battery is situated deep in the vehicle floor, ensuring there are no limitations in terms of luggage compartment volume as compared to the conventionally powered MINI 3 Door.
The charge connection is located above the right-hand rear wheel – exactly where the fuel filler neck is positioned on the conventionally powered MINI 3 Door. An embossed MINI Electric logo marks the difference in terms of energy input. Yellow versions of this signet appear on the lateral turn indicator inserts, known as side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grill.
The central element of the MINI Cooper SE front section also features the hallmark hexagonal contour, but this is closed because the electric motor requires very little cooling air. A yellow decorative bar on the grill and exterior mirror caps are finished in the same colour, thereby rounding off the model-specific design features. The MINI Cooper SE is fitted as standard with LED headlamps.
Like the model-specific front radiator grill, the largely closed undercarriage and the distinctively designed rear apron contribute to reducing aerodynamic drag. The fact that the electrically powered MINI does not require an exhaust system likewise facilitates air ducting in the undercarriage and at the rear. An aerodynamically optimised surface is also to be found on the optional 17-inch light alloy wheels with asymmetrical design in the MINI Electric Corona Spoke 2-tone version. Like the standard 16-inch light alloy wheels in MINI Electric Revolite Spoke design, the latter are available exclusively for the new MINI Cooper SE.
The new MINI Cooper SE accelerates from standing to 60 km/h (37 mph) in just 3.9 seconds. Over the first 60 metres it effortlessly keeps pace with conventionally powered sports cars. The purely electrically powered MINI accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds; its top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).
The new MINI Cooper SE is fitted as standard with a model-specific instrument cluster consisting of a 5.5-inch colour screen in Black Panel design behind the steering wheel. At the centre of this fully digital screen, the road speed is shown in figures with a peripheral scale band.
Other digital displays in the instrument cluster provide information on the charge level of the high-voltage battery, the currently selected MINI Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and Check Control messages. During charging, the digital instrument panel likewise supplies important information. If the vehicle is connected to a power socket or charging station, it is possible to read not just the time and outside temperature but also the available range and the charge status in per cent. The time is also displayed at which the high-voltage battery will be fully charged.
According to BMW board member Pieter Nota, 40,000 people have already registered an interest in the MINI Electric. MINI Senior VP Bernd Koerber has stated that the vehicle will not have a single launch date, but instead will begin production in November 2019 with the first models to be delivered to customers “as early as possible.” Engadget reports that pricing will range from approximately $30,425 USD to $37,891 USD.