MINI has announced the 2020 MINI Cooper SE, an all-electric version of its iconic vehicle.
The electrified car has a starting price of $US29,900, plus a destination fee of $US850. However, some qualified buyers can purchase the car for as low as $US17,900 dependent on federal tax credits and state electric vehicle tax credits
“US pricing of the new MINI Cooper SE was set to establish this new battery-electric as a true class leader in making premium electric mobility more accessible to a broader range of customers,” VP of MINI of the Americas Michael Peyton said in a prepared statement.
The car is aligned with the mission set by Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of the first Mini, who wanted an accessible, environmentally friendly, efficient car that was “fun to drive,” the automaker claims.
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“The Cooper SE makes electric mobility more ‘MINI’ by maintaining authentic attributes of design, handling, and fun that are found in every MINI model,” the automaker said in a prepared statement.
Designed for city driving, the car has a horsepower rating of 181 and a zero-to-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds.
It will see between 146 and 168 miles of range, which is lower than some electric cars on the market but serves the customer who is looking for a car to commute to work.
It can also hit top speeds of 93 mph.
The MINI comes with keyless entry, active driver assistant with forward collision warning, an energy-efficient heat pump to warm the battery, and more.
Because it’s noiseless, the automaker fitted the car with acoustic pedestrian protection that is played through a speaker system.
It is almost identical to the gas-powered MINI Hardtop two-door, which was last redesigned in 2014.
The difference is the SE has been raised 0.7 inches to accommodate floor-mounted battery packs and an HVAC heat pump to maintain its range in colder weather.
“Urban mobility is certainly the greatest strength of the MINI Cooper SE,” project manager Elena Eder said in a prepared statement.
The car has a low centre of gravity to accommodate the battery, giving it agility and a more “dynamic performance,” according to the automaker.
It comes with AC Charging up to 7.4-kilowatts. This allows for a 100% charge within four hours.
The car can charge up to 80% in 35 minutes with 50-kilowatt DC Charging.
“A lunch break is all it takes to recharge,” Eder continued.
There is an LED status indicator when the car is charging.
A programmable locking feature prevents the charging cord from being unplugged when it’s in use.
It also automatically unlocks the charging cable when it’s fully charged.
There is a two-mode regenerative braking system that maximizes battery life.
The car can be decelerated at low speeds without using the brakes, allowing it to be driven with a single pedal.
There is a Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster that has a digital speedometer and graphics that show the charge and power levels.
The cluster also has scrollable data that displays the remaining range and charge levels.
There is 211 litres of luggage volume under the tailgate. This can be expanded to 731 litres when the rear back seats are folded down.
The car has subtle yellow accents and a shrouded hexagonal radiator grille.