Published on September 2nd, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
All-New MINI Cooper SE Revealed With All-Electric Drivetrain
The MINI Cooper gets the biggest generational change since the year 2000.
Ever since BMW Group took over MINI, the MINI Cooper has become an enduring status symbol and style icon in the automotive world. Yes, other brands have revived ‘legacy’ brands (think Volkswagen with the Beetle and Fiat with the 500), but BMW have done it with the highest number of sales and for the longest period of time. Now, after more than two decades of success with the new MINI formula, we finally have a fourth generation* MINI Cooper hatch from BMW Group and this time it’s born exclusively as an electric vehicle with many more digital experiences that are well integrated.
The new MINI Cooper E comes with a 184hp electric motor with 290Nm of torque. 0-100km/h is done in just 7.3 seconds. This version comes with a 40.7 kWh battery with just 305km of range on the WLTP cycle. The MINI Cooper SE gets a 218hp electric motor with 330Nm of torque that does the century sprint in 6.7 seconds. Here a 54.2 kWh battery serves and gives 402km of range.
Design Changes To The New MINI Cooper
The shape and design of the new MINI is instantly recognisable but more defined thanks to tighter panel gaps, cleaner surfacing work and new lighting signatures. Another major design change to the exterior is the lack of fender flares, protruding door handles and side scuttles. The Cooper SE as it’s called is being launched as a 3-door hatchback only. The overall MINI shape is still defined by the rounded window area, a contrasting roof and the rest of the low slung body.
The iconic MINI circular headlights and downturned grille return with a modern twist. The grille is finished not in chrome but an accent colour called Vibrant Silver. Chrome has been deleted from the headlight surrounds as well.
The daytime running lights are just Horizontal lines on the basic ‘Essential’ trim level but on higher trim levels there are three adjustable light signatures. All light modes start and end with a unique welcome and goodbye animation.
The Black Band that runs across the width of all prior MINI vehicles has been deleted this time around. There are still black sills to make the vehicle look lower to the ground. The coefficient of drag is 0.28, which is quite impressive.
Around back, the vertical light clusters are a nod to the classic MINI lights. These too can be switched to different modes. The third brake light and rear fog light are integrated.
The exterior look is defined by the trim level selected: Essential and Classic are largely similar. Favoured adds the optional Spray-Tech Multitone Roof in up to three different colours and a front grille in Vibrant Silver. The John Cooper Works trim features a lot of high-gloss black and a contrasting roof in Chili Red.
Inside, the new MINI has been reduced to essentials. There’s a curved dashboard that’s covered in textile surfaces and flat air vents. Everything centres around a central circular OLED display running MINI Operating System 9.
This system works a lot like a modern smartphone and features access to all essential vehicle controls and functions. Optional equipment include a heads up display and a panoramic glass sunroof. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60:40 split allowing the 200L boot to be expanded to 800L.
There are also new MINI Experience Modes such as Core, Green, and Go-Kart with specific UI designs popping up on the digital elements. The MINI App provides a convenient overview of the charging process and other details.
Now the only thing for Malaysians to do is wait and see if the pricing makes sense against more practical EVs like the Model 3 from Tesla.
*4th generation under BMW Group, 5th if you count the unrelated original MINI