REVIEW: Mini Electric

By Seán Creedon

BMW Ireland chose the Belfield campus to launch their new Mini Electric. Normally car previews at held in hotels, but as this was a static launch there was no need to drive the car.

The Mini Electric is the brand’s first fully battery electric vehicle based on the iconic three-door hatchback.

A 32.6kWh battery gives the new electric Mini a range of up to 233 kilometres. 50kW fast charging gives an 80% charge in 36 minutes while the new Mini can get a full charge at home in 4 hours and 20 minutes using AC 7.4kW charging.

The electric motor provides 184 brake horse power and 270Nm of torque. Acceleration is a brisk 0-60 km/h in 3.9 seconds and 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.

Mini promises a fun to drive character, with none of the fun the car is famous for lost in this electric iteration.

New suspension technology designed for this model helps retain and enhance the Mini’s famed go-kart driving dynamics. At a weight of 1,365 kg, the Mini Electric is just 145kgs heavier than the current Mini Cooper S 3-Door with automatic transmission.

The Mini Electric is based on the same body shell as the 3-Door Hatch, with a number of specific differences. An embossed Mini Electric logo appears on car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille

The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape but is closed, as the car requires less cooling.

This also contributes to excellent aerodynamics, as do the enclosed undercarriage, the rear apron and the special 17-inch Mini Electric corona spoke two-tone wheels, which are optional. The rear bumper is filled in as there is no need for an exhaust.

The charging plug is located above the right-hand rear wheel, where the petrol fuelling point would normally be. Boot volume can be compromised in electric cars but the Mini Electric retains the full Mini Hatch 211 litres, expanding to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down.

The Mini Electric will be distinguished visually by an embossed logo on the car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille.

The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape of the Mini but is closed for the electric model as the car requires less cooling.

According to Mini, there have been no restrictions in terms of the size of the luggage compartment, which remains at 211 litres.

This electric model will be available in three trim lines in Ireland with prices starting at €27,764 for level One. There will also be a Level 2 and Level 3 version where the prices increases according to the goodies included.

The electric Mini will compete against new electric cars from other companies including the Corsa-e, Honda-e, Peugeot e-208, Renault Zoe, and Volkswagen ID.3. It should be in car showrooms when the lockdown is over. PCP offers will be available from €313 per month.

The static launch in UCD was held prior to the Coronavirus Lockdown and it may take a few weeks to get the electric Mini into Irish showrooms when the Lockdown ends.