The all-electric Mini Cooper was once just a demonstration car and a dream for EV fans, but now it’s a car people will actually be able to buy, with truly competitive range and a ground-up purely electric drivetrain. The new Mini Cooper SE is the brand’s first purely electric small car, with a range of between 235 and 270 kilometres (146 to 168 miles) and a fast-charging possible at up to 50 kW.
The Cooper SE can also manage zero to 60 acceleration in just over seven seconds, and has an engine under the hood that’s capable of delivering the equivalent of up to 181 HP. You’ll get that instant acceleration, which is a natural benefit of all-electric engines, and a really quick jump off the line to 37 mph in just 3.9 seconds.
Of course, these performance numbers don’t match up to something like the Tesla Model S (or even the Model 3, for that matter) and the range likewise isn’t quite on par, which may be its biggest challenge. But the classic three-door Mini Cooper design is a draw in itself, and the pricing on the vehicle is around $36,400 U.S. when converted from the €32,500 starting cost, which could make it attractive for buyers at the entry-level of the luxury scale.
Meanwhile, this is also the first electric car in the BMW Group family that offers the driver a choice between full regenerative breaking or light, meaning you can tweak how aggressively the vehicle decelerates when you take your foot off the gas. It’s another nice option for people switching from gas cars, or who just like to be able to tune performance as much as possible.
BMW Group says it’s going to start shipping these ASAP, with a likely delivery date of March 2020, and already has extensive interest from pre-registered customers.