Mini Reveals 168-Mile Electric Cooper SE With 32.6 kWh Battery
Rather than developed to be electric, it is a regular Mini converted to be so. EPA estimated range is just 114 miles.
Mainstream carmakers have a big commitment to all the investments they have already done in combustion engines. At the same time, they have to offer EVs in order to conquer customers looking for one and to lower their CO2 emission levels. The solution is adapting regular cars to be electric. Mercedes-Benz has done so with the EQC. Mini followed the same path with its new EV, the Cooper SE.
If you think it through, that is not a bad thing. EV buyers will have more options and the mainstream carmakers will produce them in big numbers, which tends to make them cheaper. Anyway, it is a clear disadvantage traditional manufacturers face in front of companies that are able to start from scratch. Such as Tesla.
One example is that, despite presenting a powerful little electric motor that delivers 181 hp to the front wheels, the Mini Cooper SE does not offer a frunk, for example. The engine bay is solely for the powertrain. Mini says it offers 184 hp, but don’t be fooled. The company uses ps and hp as synonyms. With 135 kW, the engine has 184 ps or 181 hp.
At least the UKL platform allows the battery pack to be installed under the floor, something that saves space for cargo. It uses a T structure, with its 12 modules placed between the front seats and under the rear seats, where the gas tank would be in a combustion-engine Mini.
If you remember the Mini E, the first true car Mini offered as an EV – even if only for leasing – it had only two seats. The space in the back was destined to the batteries.
To protect the battery pack, the Cooper SE sits 18 mm higher than the regular one and that is the only difference in dimensions for the 3-door hatchback, apart from the weight: with 3,009 lbs (1,365 kg), the Cooper SE is 320 lbs (145 kg) heavier.
With its electric powertrain, the Cooper SE is able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). It’s electronically limited so as not to deplete the 32.6 kWh battery pack too soon. That energy storage capacity allows the Cooper SE to travel up to 167.7 miles (270 km). EPA estimated range is just 114 miles
The new EV from Mini has four driving modes: Sport, MID, Green, and Green+. Regardless of them, the driver can set the regenerative braking intensity by a toggle switch placed on the left of the start/stop unit.
The Cooper SE can be charged with Type 2 or CCS Combo 2 plugs. Besides the household socket as a source of energy, Mini will also offer the Electric Wallbox, available for home recharging, and a three-phase cable for public charging points. Both allow for an 11 kW maximum capacity that can get the whole battery pack recharged in three hours. Or 80 percent of it in two.
Using DC fast-charging systems, the Cooper SE can cope with a maximum charging speed of 50 kW. That translates in 80 percent of charge in 35 minutes.
The new Cooper SE will come with navigation as standard and also with specific Mini Connected Services, that offers such tricks as showing the driver a range circle depending on the charge level.
Mini will sell the car in Germany for 32,500 €, something around US$ 37,500. Deliveries will start at the beginning of 2020.
Gallery: Mini Cooper SE
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