Mini has just unveiled the next step in the brands future-proofing, unveiling an all-electric version of the Mini we all know and love.

Mini’s newest car is a car to rival its own Cooper S, but very quietly: The Mini Electric. This car comes at a perfect time, right as the new Honda E had been announced by Honda and we were starting to see pre-production cars out in the open for test drives and reviews. Mini have used the same 3-door hatch body shell that has been used in their latest generation minis, but closed off the grille to aid the aerodynamics and also closed off the undercarriage, helping to boost the range of the car. You’ll find Mini Electric logos embossed on the side scuttles of the car, along with badging on the front grille and boot panel. Thankfully, the boot space has remained the same inside the car, because the boots aren’t that big anyway and that would be a bug bear for some future owners of the Electric.

Boasting performance similar to the Cooper S, with a 0-62mph time of just 7.3 seconds, it will be quick around town with the instantaneous 270Nm of torque available. Unfortunately to improve the efficiency of the battery Mini have reduced the top speed of the Electric to 93mph, which admittedly is plenty for those who don’t fancy going more than 20mph over the posted speed limits, but we won’t tell anyone. Perhaps not great on the derestricted Autobahn. The 32.6KWh battery has a range WLTP range of between 124-144 miles, which isn’t great but as a commuter car it will manage well, and considering you can let your car top up on charge overnight for pennies, your costs will still come down in the long run. Charging on a 50KW DC supercharger will take you up to 80% charge in just 35 minutes.

A new digital display has been fitted to the Electric to bring a new lease of life for this model despite sharing the same shell as the petrol-powered 3-door hatch. This new display allows the driver to receive information from the chargers themselves as well as the standard features of a modern digital display such as speed, range left, fuel capacity which in this case is battery charge and more. The Mini Electric is going to be starting from £24,400 after UK Government incentives to promote the sales of electric cars and more importantly – it appears to be on par with its main rival, the Honda E. Current estimates are that the E will cost around £30,000, likely without the government incentives.

If the Mini can keep in the same price bracket as the E, and perhaps even undercut it, there will be stern words exchanged between people on which one they should go for. The Mini has the classic design of a modern mini, along with more power and range. But then, of course, the Honda E has that damn face. The thing is adorable, probably one of the cutest cars to come out of any manufacturer for a number of years. My money is on the Mini Electric to win the sales race, but I think the Honda E is on its way already to becoming the first cult electric car, with a cute aesthetic and a torquey rear-wheel drive electric motor.

Order books for the Mini Electric are now open, with the first customer deliveries expected to start taking place in March 2020, with production at Mini’s Oxford plant.

 

Jared Hodges

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