MINI Electric, the new MINI EV with the heart of a BMW i3s.

Fully Charged's Robert Llewellyn recently had an opportunity to visit MINI Oxford, South England, where the company launched production of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE (aka MINI Electric) in late 2019.

The approach of the British brand (part of the BMW Group) is simple - to flexibly produce an all-electric and conventional version on the same production line, which has pros and cons.

The car is based on the Mini three-door hatchback and UKL1 platform adapted to accommodate batteries and electric drivetrain. We guess that it's all about the cost savings, which results in sacrifice of full EV potential. MINI had to introduce an electric car at some point to meet new emission regulations in Europe, and did it at the lowest possible cost and minimizing risks.

Despite that, the MINI Electric is probably the best MINI ever made as the advantages of an electric drive perfectly fit in the brand's image.

The car looks amazingly good - especially in the red - drives smoothly and silently.

The main drawback seems to be the range of just 200-232 km (124-144 miles) WLTP or 110 miles (177 km) EPA (estimated). If only it will be a city runabout or a second car in a family, maybe it won't matter that much though.

Mini-E Factory Tour + 1st Drive (Source: Fully Charged)

Video Description via Fully Charged on YouTube:

EXCLUSIVE: Mini-E Factory Tour + 1st Drive | Fully Charged

There's nothing Robert loves more than a factory tour. No, really!

This time he gets to go into the plant just outside of Oxford to see the Mini-E being manufactured, before taking it for a drive.

Warning: includes robots, and a special scene where the battery 'marries' the car. Ooh-er.

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Mini-E Factory Tour + 1st Drive (Source: Fully Charged)

MINI Electric (MINI Cooper SE) specs:

  • 32.6 kWh (gross) and 28.9 kWh (net) battery pack (12 modules)
  • estimated EPA range of 110 miles (177 km)
  • WLTP range of 200-232 km (124-144 miles), up to 270 km (168 miles) NEDC
  • WLTP energy consumption of 15.5-18.0 kWh/100 km
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds, 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 6.9 seconds
  • 0-60 km/h (37 mph) in 3.9 seconds
  • top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph)
  • power output of 135 kW (184 hp) and 270 Nm of torque (electric motor borrowed from BMW i3S)
  • front-wheel-drive
  • DC fast charging 0-80% in 35 minutes (at up to around 50 kW)
  • AC charging 0-100% in 3.5 hours using three-phase on-board charger
  • AC charging 0-80% in 2.5 hours using three-phase on-board charger
  • trunk capacity of 211 L
  • unladen DIN weight of 1,365 kg (some 145 kg heavier than the MINI Cooper S 3 Door with Steptronic transmission)
  • important equipment: heat pump