The Mini goes electric
Electric cars have long been part of the urban way of life. The concept and design of the new Mini Cooper SE are almost identical to its older combustion engine siblings, as are the dimensions and use of space.
In the Mini Cooper SE, the T-shaped lithium-ion battery is housed in the vehicle floor, between the front seats and under the rear seats. This provides not only more space, but a lower centre of gravity and more stable road-holding. But, at 211 to 731 litres maximum, the boot doesn’t skimp on volume or options. But the Mini Cooper SE has a little more height than the classic engine models. The body has been raised about 1.5 cm to give the high-voltage battery more clearance.
Other differences are marginal. The most striking features include the front grille framed in yellow, the (optional) 17-inch aerodynamic aluminium wheel rims with the exclusive Mini Electric design and the absence of an exhaust pipe, all helping to reduce aerodynamic resistance. So that everyone knows it’s an electric Mini, there are yellow "Electric" logos on the grille, hatchback and side scuttles. The distinctive logo is also stamped on the charge port flap over the right rear wheel, where the fuel filler flap is in the three-door conventional engine model – in case the Mini owner forgot what type of energy they needed one day.
But all you really need to do is touch the pedal. Because the 184 horsepower (135 kW) electric drive system, similar to the BMW i3, generates a torque of 270 Newton metres to the front wheels when you start it up. Reaching 60 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
And, with an electricity consumption of 15.0 to 13.2 kWh over 100 km, the Mini Cooper SE should be able to cover between 235 and 270 kilometres before its next charge. With an optional Wallbox and three-phase charging cable for public charging stations, the maximum 11 kW battery is charged 80% in two and a half hours and 100% in three and a half hours.
Mini also promises an even more intense go-kart-style experience. The low centre of gravity and weight distribution with traction control specially designed for the spontaneous supply of power from electric engines deliver the dynamic handling on bends that you’d expect in the small car segment. The electric Mini also has a selection of driving programmes, with four driving modes. As usual, the instant response in Sports mode differs from the standard MID setting. As well as the Green mode for a particularly efficient driving style, there is also a Green+ setting specially for the Mini Cooper SE, which limits or de-activates the heating, air conditioning and heated seats, giving a greater charge range.
More unusual in the Mini than in electric cars, you can brake by lifting your foot off the accelerator. So, the electric Mini can also decelerate sharply and recover energy, as the electric motor works like a generator in thrust mode, converting kinetic energy into electricity (recovery). But, unlike the BMW i3, for the first time with the Mini Cooper SE, the efficiency of recovery and dual level deceleration can be adjusted to the driving style at the flick of a switch. Each time the engine starts, the standard setting is maximum regeneration, delivering high output.
Image source: Mini
Text source: Ampnet