Mini is back to building an electric car. Like last time, the yellow-colored accents and two-door body style are back, but the drivetrain guts are all different—and mostly BMW i3 parts. And now it’s called the Mini Cooper SE.
(Full Disclosure: Mini was kind enough to cover airfare, lodging, and food for me to visit Miami, Florida for a night to drive the new Mini Cooper SE.)
I won’t be able to tell you everything I know about the Cooper SE until next week, like exact range figures, but we’ve already established that it’s borrowing parts from the BMW i3. Unlike the i3, though, the Mini is front-wheel drive, with 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque.
Its usual four-cylinder engine has been replaced with a massive brace of wires, computers, and cooling and HVAC components, and BMW’s battery technology have been shaped into a unique t-formation to squeeze under the existing Mini Cooper architecture.
On paper, it’s around 300 pounds heavier than a standard Cooper S, and slightly slower from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds.
We already drove this as a prototype last year, but if any of your questions from then went unanswered, now is the time to let me know!