It looks like any other Mini Cooper, but the Mini Cooper SE is a new battery electric vehicle version of the zippy little hatchback. [credit:
Toward the end of June, we reported that BMW is accelerating its electrification strategy. Originally, it had promised 25 new electric models across its brands by 2025; now that timeline has been moved up by two years. And the first of these will be a Mini Cooper SE battery electric vehicle. We’ve actually known the BEV Mini has been in the works for a while, but on Tuesday the automaker confirmed that production will begin at Mini’s Cowley plant in the UK in November, and it has released some of the car’s specs.
Throughout Mini’s 60-year history, the brand has always been about small front-wheel-drive cars, and that continues here. In this case, the front wheels are going to be driven by a 181hp (135kW), 199lb-ft (270Nm) electric motor, powered by a 32.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack. To avoid compromising the Mini’s diminutive form factor, the battery pack is T-shaped, and apparently there’s no reduction in cargo volume as a result.
Although weight has crept up by 319lbs (145kg) compared to a Mini Cooper S (with an automatic transmission), overall weight is still only 3,009lbs (1,364kg) which isn’t too bad for a BEV. And despite an increase in height (0.7 inches/18mm), the weight of the batteries in the floor means the car’s center of gravity is actually lower by 1.2 inches (30mm).