World premiere of the Mini Cooper E: The Mini future is electric and relatively inexpensive
BMW’s Mini brand has unveiled two new electric models in the run-up to the IAA Mobility. The new Mini Cooper will come from the cooperation with Chinese carmaker Great Wall in future. The iconic Mini three-door will be fully electric and, at least in the basic version, cheaper than anticipated.
Both the electric Cooper and the new Countryman with its electric version have been teased by Mini with regular releases over the past months, so some key points are already known. For the world premiere at the motor show in Munich, there is now the final design, the exact technical data and first prices for the German market. “The new Mini Cooper and the new Mini Countryman are powered purely by electricity, thus guaranteeing locally emission-free locomotion and, in the combination of distinctive design, advanced drive technology and an immersive digital experience, underline the exceptional position of Mini vehicles in their respective segments,” Mini said at the premiere.
“The continued strong demand for our locally emission-free vehicles confirms our path towards an all-electric future. It proves the openness of our global Mini community to electric mobility and I am confident that the upcoming new generation of Mini models will inspire even more people,” says brand boss Stefanie Wurst. “Thanks to our electrified go-kart feel, immersive user experience and responsible attitude, the new Mini family is perfect for diverse, urban audiences worldwide.”
Let’s look first at the Mini Cooper. Here it has been known since April that the fifth generation of the iconic three-door car will be available in two drive variants: The Mini Cooper E produces 135 kW and has a 40.7 kWh battery. The Mini Cooper SE, on the other hand, produces 160 kW but has a 54.2 kWh battery. In the announcement, Mini only states that it is a “lithium-ion battery”. When asked, Munich states that both battery options use NMC cathodes. So the basic model does not use a low-cost LFP battery.
Now there is more data: The Mini Cooper E achieves a torque of 290 Nm and can accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The range determined in the WLTP is 305 kilometres. The analogue specifications for the Cooper SE are 330 Nm maximum torque, 6.7 seconds for the standard sprint and 402 WLTP kilometres. Incidentally, according to the announcement, the designation ‘Cooper’ no longer stands for a specific engine version, but refers to “all Mini 3-doors, 5-doors as well as the Mini Convertible”.
On the AC side, both variants of the Mini Cooper can be charged with 11 kW. At a DC charging station, the small battery can be charged with 75 kW at peak and the large battery with up to 95 kW. In both cases, this should result in charging times of “just under 30 minutes” from ten to 80 per cent, according to Mini. The vehicles also have preconditioning that is activated via destination guidance and tempers the battery appropriately for planned fast-charging stops.
EV platform gives new possibilities in the interior
The appearance of the new Cooper had already become apparent among the various camouflaged prototypes and leaked photos of the unwrapped vehicle. The classic round headlights remain at the front, but the radiator grille is given some edges and becomes a “striking octagonal grille”, which together with the headlights characterises the front section. In the design of the rear lights, however, the new Cooper generation deviates from the previous brand design. In addition, there will be four different trims – Essential, Classic, Favoured and JCW – which, according to the press release, are intended to differentiate the vehicle and “give the new Mini a distinctive character”.
In the interior, there is the typical Mini circular display screen with a diameter of 240 millimetres and a new central OLED display. A newly designed toggle bar with five switches is to encompass all driving functions. Since the new Mini generation will be offered only electrically in cooperation with Great Wall, the need for a classic gearstick lever is also eliminated. The space thus freed up is used as additional storage space, including a wireless charging shelf.
Mini Cooper E starts at 32,900 euros before incentives
What has not been known so far about the new Mini generation is the price. The detailed price list is not yet available for the premiere, but the basic prices for both engines are: The Mini Cooper E will be available from 32,900 euros, the Cooper SE will be 4,000 euros more expensive, so it is listed at 36,900 euros.
This is particularly remarkable in one respect: with the Ora Funky Cat, Mini partner Great Wall has a roughly comparable small car in retro look on offer, which is also available with two battery options for a range of around 300 and 400 kilometres respectively. The only difference is that the Chinese brand’s model is considerably more expensive at 38,990 euros for the 48-kWh model with LFP battery. The variant with the large battery (from 44,490 euros for 63 kWh) is also more expensive than the comparable Mini – although detailed comparisons are not yet possible because the equipment list is not yet known. But the trend is clear: the Mini should be cheaper, but the surcharge list should also be longer.