The MINI Cooper SE is no longer one of the most affordable EVs in the United States as its starting MSRP has seen a massive $4,325 hike.
The Cooper SE used to cost $30,750 (including an $850 destination fee), but now the automaker's US customer website does not list the base model anymore. The next-most-affordable grade, the Signature Trim 2.0, has a starting price of $35,075 (including destination).
Green Car Reports, which first noticed the price hike, asked MINI USA for clarifications. The brand's US head of corporate communications Andrew Cutler told them that the base MINI Cooper SE has been "made temporarily unavailable due to supply-chain-related issues."
MINI did not provide further details regarding the supply-chain constraint but suggested that the base model isn't gone for good. However, the company cannot provide a timeline for when it might return.
In fairness, the 2023 MINI Cooper SE has gained more standard features, such as a new steering wheel design, Apple CarPlay–compatible 8.8-inch center screen, a heated steering wheel, lane-departure warning, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Furthermore, the Signature Trim 2.0 adds goodies like a panoramic sunroof and a choice of multiple exterior, roof and upholstery colors.
Even so, the $4,325 price increase seems pretty hard to swallow. That said, if you can claim the $7,500 federal tax credit, the MINI Cooper SE Signature Trim 2.0 will cost you $27,575 compared to $23,250 for the now-unavailable base model.
Looking at the MINI Cooper SE configurator, we've noticed that the base model has been dropped, but even the more expensive models, the Signature Trim 2.0 and Iconic Trim 2.0, do not appear safe from disruptions. That's because the website displays the following disclaimer.
"Due to increased customer demand, production availability of model year 2023 MINIs is limited. The current estimated delivery time for custom-built orders varies depending on trim, packages, and options selected. Delivery times also vary by location."
The current-generation MINI Cooper SE is on borrowed time anyway as the next-gen model co-developed by BMW Group and Great Wall Motor will be unveiled in the second half of next year.