New electric Mini Cooper SE revealed … and confirmed for SA!

New electric Mini Cooper SE revealed … and confirmed for SA!”

The design is typical Mini and it echoes the concept auto introduced in September 2017 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

It had always been known that Mini would be launching the new battery powered vehicle, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the BMW-owned company.

Visually distinguishing the SE from regular Minis are a blocked-off front grille, unique badging, a different rear diffuser without any exhaust tips, and yellow accents on the grille, fender trim, and mirror caps. The absence of an exhaust system is another telltale sign the vehicle doesn't have an internal combustion engine, and if you'll ever see its underside, you'll notice it's mostly closed to reduce aerodynamic drag.

As with every other electric vehicle out there, the torque is available right from the start. Mini says the Cooper SE is limited to a top speed of 93 miles per hour, that it'll do 0-62 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds and that its "innovative driving dynamics system with wheel slip limiting close to the actuator" (whatever that means) will offer "particularly intense and unmistakable agility, known as the go-kart feeling". Interestingly, Mini says the all-electric hatchback can keep up the pace "effortlessly" with ICE-powered sports cars over the first 60 meters (nearly 200 feet).

Since the battery is positioned deep within the vehicle floor, the auto comes with no limitations in terms of luggage space, remaining just as practical as any regular MINI 3-door model. Mini points out the info about range "has already been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle and adapted to NEDC for comparison purposes". We can expect official USA range figures to be down a bit from there. There are logos front and rear - as well as on the cover for the charging connector, although this is in the same location as the fuel cap.

The SE will have multiple regenerative-braking modes, with one offering one-pedal driving. It takes two and a half hours to recharge to an 80% level with a charging capacity of 11 kW and three and a half hours to 100%. The Cooper SE rides 18 mm higher to ensure sufficient ground clearance for the high-voltage battery. We're pretty sure that the 500 USA owners of the Mini E from 2008 would disagree, but there's no questioning the fact that this new Cooper SE is a better vehicle and one that was designed from the get-go to incorporate batteries and an electric motor. No one will mistake it for a high-end sports auto, then, but that's comparable to the Mini Cooper S. The instant 199 foot-pounds of EV torque and lower center of gravity could give it an edge, too. The standard central touchscreen is a 6.5-inch unit with navigation, but an 8.8-inch screen is optional.

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