Pricing for the 2020 Mini Cooper SE—the historic British marque's first electric model—will start at $29,900 when it goes on sale in March of 2020.
Like most modern EVs, the Cooper SE features a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery. In this application, the 32.6-kWh unit can power the car to an EPA-estimated 114 miles on a full charge. At its maximum DC fast-charge rate of 50 kW, the Cooper SE can recharge to 80 percent in approximately 35 minutes, which should help owners get back to business relatively quickly should an unexpected recharge at a public station need to happen.
Mini had to raise the Cooper 18 millimeters to accommodate the battery in the car's floor, though the company insists the low center of gravity offsets the greater ride height. This could allow the Cooper SE to retain the S' sharp handling, which should pair well with the healthy 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque being put to the ground via the front wheels. Mini claims the Cooper SE can do zero to 60 in as little as 6.9 seconds, and hustle to a top speed of 93 mph. While not earth-shattering performance figures on paper, the electric drivetrain's responsiveness should make the Mini feel more agile and faster than its specs lead us to believe.
Cooper SEs will be reasonably equipped for their price point, with lots of once-aspirational tech coming standard. That means high-tech safety assists, automatic climate control, heated seats, and the gold standard for modern infotainment systems: Apple CarPlay along with Android Auto.
As charming of a package as this is, the Cooper SE will need to offer an outstanding driving experience given its price point and short range, which is perilously close to what the first-gen Nissan Leaf offered years ago (although it was greatly improved in its second iteration).
We're hoping Mini has an ace up its sleeve.