Mini is bringing silence to the streets in this its sixtieth year with the arrival of their first fully electric offering. Deliveries will take place in March, the Mini Cooper SE coming in three trim levels, a monthly lease from €309 and prices from €27,765 OTR, including SEAI grant (€5,000) and VRT Rebate (€5,000). The top style Mini Electric is available at €35,695 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate).
Sitting sturdy at 1,365 kilograms, the Mini Electric is 145kgs heavier than the current Mini Cooper S 3-Door with Automatic transmission. Its battery pack has 12 modules of lithium-ion cells arranged in a T-shaped unit in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, providing a battery capacity of 32.6 kWh. Because of their location and shape, there is no change to boot space capacity - 211 litres, expanding to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down.
The motor is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 184HP and maximum torque of 270Nm., giving the Mini Electric a driving range of 235 to 270 kilometres, With other electric offerings delivering a range well over three-hundred kilometres, the Mini Electric will suit the urban driver best.
Looks wise, the Mini Electric is a three-door hatchback, identifiable via its front grill, which is unvented (and carries their Electric logo), the car requiring less cooling than an ICE variant. The charge point is where you’d expect to find access to the fuel tank, on the right side just above the rear wheel. It also comes with an enclosed under carriage, the rear apron and the optional 17-inch Mini Electric Corona Spoke 2-tone wheels. A neat embossed Mini Electric logo is on car’s side scuttles, as well as on the boot lid.
Dual zone automatic air conditioning with separate ventilation and temperature control for the driver and front passenger are standard. The heater uses 75 per cent less energy than a conventional version.
Regardless of the trim level selected, all exterior finishes can be combined with roof and exterior mirror caps in body finish (not available with the body colour White Silver metallic), or in black or white.
The Mini Electric entry level standard trim comes with a monthly lease price of €309 or on the road price, (OTR) from €27,765, (includes SEAI grant €5,000 and VRT rebate €5,000).
The mid-level is available at €30,405 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate).
· Cloth/leather-look upholstery
· Additional exterior body colour and wheel options
· Rear Park Distance Control (PDC)
· Rear Camera
· Seat Heating
· Driving Assistance Pack
· Logo Projection.
· Front PDC
· Park Assist
· Harmon Kardon sound system
· Head-up Display
· Panoramic Sun Roof
· Matrix LED’s
· Upgrade to the 8.8” infotainment touch screen
· Wireless phone charging is also included
· In addition to Mini Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, there is a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.
Adding sound to Silence
In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.
With its batteries low and its suspension specifically designed for this model, the centre of gravity of the Mini Electric is at least 30mm lower than the Mini Cooper S, with the weight reduced over the front wheels thanks to the electric motor.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, which gives traction at set-off and driving stability in brake energy recovery mode, as well as when accelerating out of tight bends.
Four Mini Driving Modes come as standard, all selected via a switch located on the right-hand side of the toggle bar.
SPORT mode provides more direct steering and a quicker power delivery. Choosing the MID setting has less aggressive steering, while GREEN mode features gentle accelerator actuation. Choosing GREEN+ mode, comfort functions such as air conditioning are limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.
A toggle switch to the left of the start/stop toggle provides the choice of intense or low-level power regeneration– regardless of the Mini Driving Modes to allow the driver to choose the best setting for their own style of driving. This recharges the battery when the driver lifts off the accelerator, preserving energy, and acts as a braking force.
Digital dashboard & Centre Console
The new Mini Electric has a new digital dashboard with a 5.5-inch colour screen behind the steering wheel. Road speed is shown at the centre in figures with a peripheral scale band, as well as information on the charge level of the battery, the selected Mini Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and check control messages.
Details of the available range, current drive power, outside temperature, time and mileage are also displayed, with traffic sign detection reports and directions from the navigation system.
If the vehicle is connected to a power socket or charging station, it’s possible to read off the time, outside temperature, available range and the charge status from the new dashboard. Charge completion time is also displayed and the colour of the panel changes depending on charge status.
A 6.5-inch touchscreen in the central instrument panel comes as standard. This allows Mini Online and Apple CarPlay, as well as offering Real Time Traffic Updates (RTTI) which updates the navigation system automatically and displays details of battery charge status and range. In addition, there is a map view which shows public charging stations in the local area and remote services allows the driver to control the charging process via a connected mobile phone.
The digital dashboard provides information on the current flow of energy and the range, as well as offering ways of increasing range by deactivating comfort functions or boosting energy regeneration. On the navigation map, a circle that indicates the car’s range can be shown.
When the route guidance starts, it displays the fastest and shortest route and also suggests a Green route involving the lowest level of power consumption.
The 2020 Mini Electric comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs.
Above the car socket, a charge level indicator displays orange for start of charge, pulsating yellow light for active charging and green for a fully charged battery. It takes thirty-five minutes at a 50kW DC fast-charging station to charge the Mini to 80 per cent from zero.