Mini is currently developing a performance version of its all-electric Cooper SE. Reports in the media have the model being called Mini Electric GP. The project has been given the green light, but performance data has not yet been released.
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The BMW Blog claims to have discovered the name and some data from an “extremely reliable source”, as seems to be confirmed by a photo contained in the article. The image shows a camouflaged Mini with a significantly enlarged roof spoiler, larger rims (but in the four-spoke design of the Cooper SE) and a larger brake system. At the front, a larger air intake has been installed under the closed radiator grille, reminiscent of the “John Cooper Works” models with a combustion engine. The vehicle also bears a Munich license plate with an electric vehicle marking. The bumper of the “John Cooper Works” models also appears to have been taken over at the rear – where the tailpipe is usually located in the middle, a large hole can be seen on the electric prototype.
The Mini Cooper SE has so far taken over the electric motor from the BMW i3s, which has an output of 135 kW but unlike the i3s, the engine in the Mini is installed on the front axle. The battery in the Mini, however, only has an energy content of 32.6 kWh, while the i3s now has 42.2 kWh. In the small cars based on combustion engines, it was not possible to simply mount the battery pack of the i3 under the car. In the Mini Cooper SE, the battery modules are instead mounted between the front seats under the centre tunnel and under the rear seat.
This means that the trunk volume of 211 to 731 litres remains unchanged when the rear seat is folded down. The only difference is that the body of the Mini Cooper SE is 18 millimetres higher so that there is enough ground clearance under the battery. With an unladen weight of 1,365 kilos, the SE is around 145 kilos heavier than a Mini Cooper S with automatic transmission.
Shortly after the presentation of the Mini Cooper SE, BMW said that it had received more than 40,000 reservations. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse also recently confirmed that interest in the electric Mini was particularly high. In Germany alone, the government regulatory agency BAFA has already received more than 2,500 applications for the environmental bonus for the model according to the October figures – although it does not offer the best price-range ratio with a WLTP range of 225-234 kilometres at a price of at least 31,680 euros (before the environmental bonus).
Update 02 December 2020: Mini has now officially announced the development of electric vehicle models for the performance brand John Cooper Works. The development of a Mini John Cooper Works Electric is specifically mentioned. However, performance data are not yet mentioned in the announcement.
With its announcement, BMW has now also published a series of official photos of the vehicle, and according to the license plate, this is exactly the vehicle pictured in the BMW Blog published in November.
“With the MINI Electric, we’ve shown how well brand-typical driving enjoyment and electric mobility can be combined,” says Bernd Körber, Head of the Mini brand. “Now it’s time to translate the passion for performance of the John Cooper Works brand to electromobility. That’s why we’re working to develop concepts for electric John Cooper Works models.”
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