BMW was at the front of the electric car movement with the i3 but it’s stumbled a bit since, now its launched the all-electric Mini Cooper SE hoping the iconic hatch will win buyers.

The 2020 Mini Cooper SE has been unveiled with the brand hoping to win buyers with its cute looks and zero emissions motoring. Boasting a 135kW/ 270Nm electric motor, the front-wheel drive Cooper SE boasts a driving range of up to 270km.

The lithium-ion batteries are arranged in a T-shape deep in the bowels of the vehicle with Mini claiming it doesn’t impact on boot space meaning it’s just as “practical” as a regular Mini Cooper S three-door. The boot offers 211 litres of storage and up to 731 litres with the back seats folded down. “The only measurable difference: in order to ensure the relevant ground clearance for the high-voltage battery installed in the vehicle floor, the body of the new MINI Cooper SE is positioned some 18 millimetres higher than in the conventionally powered model,” Mini said. That said, the centre of gravity is 30mm lower than the regular Cooper S.

Based on a regular Mini Cooper S three door, the key differences beyond the body height difference are the Mini Electric logo and some yellow flashes here and there.

In terms of acceleration, the Cooper SE will get to 60km/h in just 3.9 seconds and makes 100km/h in 7.3 seconds. Mini has fitted a speaker system with artificial noise generator to ensure the Cooper SE can be heard by pedestrians but also inside the car too.

The Cooper SE offers four driving modes. “Sport mode differs from the standard MID setting, with a more direct characteristic steering curve and a spontaneous response of the drive system. The comfort-oriented steering characteristics of the MID setting are also active in GREEN mode, as well as in the new GREEN+ mode specially configured for the new MINI Cooper SE”.

If you’ve ever driven an electric vehicle you’ll know there’s an element of one-pedal driving to the experience. Meaning, that as soon as you lift off the accelerator the vehicle will begin to brake. BMW Group claims the Cooper SE can literally be driven with one pedal with the driver able to adjust the level of regenerative braking when lifting off the throttle.

“Part of the characteristic driving experience in an electrically powered BMW Group model is the one-pedal feeling. In urban traffic in particular, the vehicle perceptibly decelerates as soon as the driver removes their foot from the accelerator. This effect occurs because in coasting mode the electric motor performs the function of a generator, transforming kinetic energy back into electric power, which is in turn fed back into the high-voltage battery. The result of this is that the electrically powered vehicle can be appropriately decelerated at low speeds without using the brake system and can therefore be driven using a single pedal. The extent to which brake energy is recovered and the vehicle is decelerated during coasting phases can be determined via the motor control programming system.

“The new MINI Cooper SE is the first electrically powered BMW Group model in which the driver can influence the degree of recuperation efficiency. A toggle switch positioned to the left of the start/stop unit provides the choice of intense or only low-level recuperation with the relevant deceleration impact – regardless of the MINI Driving Modes.”

In terms of charging the Cooper SE, via a cost optional wallbox or three-phase, the battery will charge at 11kW and can replenish the battery to 80 percent in 2.5 hours or 100 percent in 3.5 hours. A DC fast charger will pump electricity at 50kW and can replenish the battery to 80 percent in 35 minutes.

No pricing or final specification details or delivery for Australia have been announced at the time of writing.


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