Bottom line: While better for the environment and perhaps potentially cheaper to operate, the new Mini Cooper SE won't be as fun to drive as earlier supercharged and turbo-powered models with a zero to 62 mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed that is limited to just 93.2 mph.
We’ve been hearing about BMW’s all-electric Mini Cooper for years. A production model was originally slated to arrive in 2019 with redesigned headlights, premium wheels and an updated front bumper but at some point, the company went back to the design room to tone things down a bit.
On Tuesday, BMW announced that the newly tamed Mini Cooper SE will roll onto the scene next year. It’ll sport an electric motor with 135 kW (181 HP) and 270 Nm. (199 lb-ft) of power feeding to the front wheels which should provide drivers with the unmistakable go-kart feeling (BMW’s words, not mine) they expect from a Mini.
Model-specific lithium-ion batteries will be housed deep in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, maximizing the car’s center of gravity with no reduction in usable luggage space. With the batteries and all, it weighs 3,009 pounds – or only 319 pounds more than the Mini Cooper S 2 door hardtop with Steptronic transmission. Range is rated at 235 to 270 kilometers (146 miles to 167.7 miles) depending on model.
The 2020 Mini Cooper SE will be offered in three trim levels – Signature, Signature Plus and Iconic – which include a combination of exterior finishes, light alloy wheels, interior fittings and seat upholstery. Buyers will also have the option to add features and equipment like connected navigation.
Pricing starts at £24,400 (around $30,400) with the first models set for delivery in March 2020.