2020 MINI Cooper S E
This 2020 Mini Cooper SE EV is not the first fully electric Mini. That would be the very limited release Mini E we drove 10 years ago. But, it has taken until now for Mini to fully enter the EV primetime.
To keep the base price under $30,000 before government incentives, the Mini SE uses a lot of proven hardware. It rides on a modified version of the Cooper S platform, and the SE’s electric powertrain is based on the one used in BMW’s tiny I3 EV. In the SE, a smaller 32.6-kWh battery pack is integrated into the transmission tunnel and where the fuel tank would be. Overall that modest capacity also delivers a modest range of only 110-miles.
Sure, we’d love to see more range as much as you would; but typical for the Mini formula, the main priority here is having fun behind the wheel. So, even though you may not journey too far afield, you’ll be darting in and out of traffic with all of the nimbleness of a go-kart.
Expect a heightened throttle response as well, as the full 181-horsepower output is available right from the get-go; and the amount of regen-braking that happens when you lift, is adjustable.
As you can see I already own a Mini and despite its squarish stature, it really does drive like a low slung sports car. And it looks like the Mini SE will retain all of those driving characteristics yet still be one of the most responsible cars on the planet. Now we only drive our Mini maybe only 50 miles a day or less so the SE despite its limited range looks like a great way to upgrade. Who says technology is killing the joy of driving?
"The usual aero enhancements have taken place; closed off grille, smoothed-out rear bumper, and of course unique and rather cool-looking alloy wheels."
An onboard 7.4-kW charger provides a full charge in as little as 4-hours, at home!
Battery placement means no change to passenger or cargo space inside. And, the SE is very well equipped including standard navigation, a unique digital instrument cluster, and even a heated steering wheel.
"MINI has always been experts at packaging, giving you a surprising amount of space in a very small footprint. So it’s really no surprise they were able to cram batteries and EV hardware into existing space they had to work with, giving you the full MINI Cooper experience without any compromise."
We’ll have much more on this fully-electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE soon.
- Horsepower: 181
- Price: Under $30,000