• First full EV for sale by Mini
  • European range of 145-167 miles
  • Estimated price around $36,000
  • Goes on sale early next year

 

Mini has announced its first pure electric model for retail sale, the 2020 Mini Cooper SE which goes into production this November based on the brand’s 2-door hardtop hatchback. It’s not the first battery-electric from the British make, which had a test fleet of 500 Mini E models on lease in the U.S. nearly a decade ago.

The front-wheel drive EV is powered by a 135-kW electric motor rated at 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. Mini promises 0-62 mpg acceleration of 7.3 seconds and estimates the European range at 235 to 270 kilometers or 145 to 167 miles. Official U.S. range is not yet available. The drivetrain, with its lithium-ion battery pack doesn’t seem to move the needle much from the original Mini E, which had a range of about 100 miles and 0-62 mph acceleration of 8 seconds.

What will the 2020 Mini Cooper SE cost?

While Mini has yet to release U.S. pricing, it announced the 2020 Mini Cooper SE will be priced from 32,000 Euros or about $36,000 when it goes on sale by the end of the year in Europe. U.S. sales are set to start sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

Four drive modes, two levels of regen braking

Mini is touting the agility and fun-to-drive aspect of the new Cooper SE. There’s a standard Mid setting which is geared towards comfort and a sharper Sport mode with more responsive steering action and throttle inputs. A Green mode retains the Mid mode’s comfort steering with acceleration and braking tuned to deliver greater efficiency. A Green+ mode also adds to the vehicle’s range by limiting the use of heating, air conditioning and seat heating.  

Two levels of regenerative braking can also be selected by the driver, with a more aggressive mode allowing for one-pedal driving. The Cooper SE is also fitted with a model-specific instrument cluster featuring a 5.5-inch color screen with a speed band around the digital readout that is illuminated in red for Sport, white for Mid and green for the Green and Green+ modes.

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Three trim levels

The 2020 Mini Cooper SE will be offered in Signature, Signature Plus and Ionic trim levels each with specific exterior colors, light alloy wheels, upholstery designs and interior accents. All models will come with connected navigation as standard equipment. The nav system has a feature where it’s possible to display a range circle that indicates how far the Mini SE can travel on the remaining state of charge.

Mini said that the Cooper SE can be charged from a standard household 110-volt socket as well as Level 2 AC charging up to 7.4 kilowatts. A DC fast-charging is also possible at 50 kW allowing for an 80-percent charge in 35 minutes.

What vehicles will compete with the 2020 Mini Cooper SE?

The Cooper SE will face some formidable competition when it comes to the U.S. market. While its range is comparable to the Volkswagen e-Golf and standard Nissan Leaf models, it will also compete with a new generation of EVs that boast more than 200 miles in range, including the Nissan Leaf Plus, Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro EV, Kia Soul EV, all of which start in the mid- to upper $30,000 range.

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