After two years, much speculation, many motor shows and one concept car, BMW has finally given us an electric Mini, in what is yet another new car to join the electric race. Revealed just today at the Frankfurt Motor Show and destined to go on sale in March of 2020, this is a very important car, not just for BMW and their sales numbers, but for the Mini brand itself.
I've always had my problems with the "new" Mini. It was never the true successor to the original masterpiece, and while yes I know that modern safety regulations meant that it had to be bigger and stiffer, it still lacked that something that made the original such a hit. But if the car was at least solidly built and could last as long as the original, then I could forgive it, but oh no. The new Mini and its offsprings (Clubman, Paceman, Roadster, Countryman) have all suffered from many problems. Engines burning too much oil, electrics that throw a temper tantrum when the wind picks up, plastics that shake and rattle worse than an L-188 Electra on takeoff and of course a ridiculous price tag that's a translation of the phrase "We're BMW, so deal with it". But to be fair, there are certain good points about them. For example, they're fun to drive little things and definitely offer a better driving experience compared to other small posh cars like Audi A1 and Citroen DS3, and their cute style means that with a certain crowd they can be (and are) a hit.
So where does the new Cooper SE fit in all this? Well, we all know that not many things can go wrong with an electric car, and we also know that BMW makes fairly solid ones, if i3 and i8 are anything to go by. This all can mean one thing. The Cooper SE is the best Mini ever. Here are some statistics to back this up. 181 hp, a top speed of 93 mph or 150 km/h, a 0-100 km/h (or 0-62 mph) time of 7.3 seconds, and most importantly, 270 Nm of all the instant torque you could ever want. While the numbers don't seen like something too exciting, keep in mind that we're talking about a very light car, and as such its performance puts the hot Cooper S to shame. Range anxiety shouldn't be an issue either, as BMW gives a claimed range of about 140 miles which should be enough for most city dwellers.
But that's not all. Given the fact that the batteries sit low down, the car will also have better weight distribution, which in turn means a car that will most likely be a nice handler in the bends as well. So here we have a light, fast and nicely handling city car. See something familiar here? This Cooper SE is the rightful successor to the original light and agile Mini. Granted, the weight of the batteries won't exactly help but it should be enough to put a smile on your face. And the smile will be even better if BMW sort out the electrical glitches and the plastics as well. If they can pull that off, then this Mini will be the very best of the modern breed. All that remains is to see if it can take on the almighty Renault Zoe, but we'll have to wait until March for that. The electric race is really heating up!
What do you think of the new Mini Cooper SE? Share your opinion in the comments!