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The 2020 Mini Cooper SE Is the First Real Electric Mini

Mini's first production electric car, based on the two-door Cooper Hardtop, is coming to the U.S. early next year.

© Mini   Mini has revealed its first production electric car, the Cooper SE, which has a 181-hp motor and one-pedal regenerative braking.

By Daniel Golson, Car and Driver

  • The 2020 Mini Cooper SE is Mini's first production electric car.
  • It has a 181-hp electric motor powering the front wheels and a range of up to 168 miles on the European cycle.
  • The SE will have multiple regenerative-braking modes, with one offering one-pedal driving.

We've known for a while that Mini's first real electric car, the Cooper SE, has been on its way, after first being previewed by a concept in 2017 and then when we drove it in prototype form earlier this year. The 2020 Mini Cooper SE has now been fully revealed in production form, and while it doesn't offer up any major surprises, it's a compelling package nonetheless.

© Mini   The Cooper SE Is the First Electric Mini
 
The Cooper SE has a 32.6-kWh battery pack and a single electric motor that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel-drive SE will hit 62 mph in a claimed 7.3 seconds, and its top speed is limited to 93 mph. In Europe, the SE will have a range of 146 to 168 miles, but U.S. EPA figures have yet to be announced. Not a lot of charging info has been released, either, but Mini says it can be charged at up to 50 kW, allowing for an 80 percent charge in 35 minutes using a DC fast charger.

Mini says the SE's center of gravity is 1.2 inches lower than that of a Cooper S and that it weighs 319 pounds more than a Cooper S Hardtop with an automatic transmission. The SE has different suspension tuning, a stability-control system designed to deal with the instantaneous torque from the electric motor, and four driving modes, including a Green+ mode designed for maximum efficiency that disables or limits features such as climate control. The SE is also the first BMW Group electric car with adjustable regenerative braking, and one of its modes offers one-pedal driving in which the car can be stopped solely by the regen. 

© Mini   The Cooper SE Is the First Electric Mini

Visually distinguishing the SE from regular Minis are a blocked-off front grille, unique badging, a different rear diffuser without any exhaust tips, and yellow accents on the grille, fender trim, and mirror caps. Base wheels are 16 inches, while the optional 17-inch wheels have a wacky asymmetrical design (seen in these photos) that Mini says is better for aerodynamics.

The interior gets a 5.5-inch digital gauge cluster that uses a new graphic design to show current speed, changing with the driving mode. It also displays charge level, range, navigation info, and other infotainment functions. When the car is charging, the cluster shows available range, the percent of charge, outside temperature, the time the car will be done charging, and other relevant info. The standard central touchscreen is a 6.5-inch unit with navigation, but an 8.8-inch screen is optional.

Every Cooper SE will have a dual-zone automatic climate-control system and a special heat-pump design that uses 75 percent less energy than a traditional electric heater. Using a smartphone app, SE owners can also heat or cool their car's interior to a specific temperature before getting in. Mini hasn't said a lot about other standard or optional features, but the SE will come in three different trim levels and a relatively limited range of colors.

© Mini   2020 Mini Cooper SE

The Cooper SE will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2020, with Mini saying it won't cost a huge premium over equivalent gas-powered Minis. After coming away impressed by our stint in a prototype, we're excited to get our hands on the new electric Mini.

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Autos Magazine: The 2020 Mini Cooper SE Is the First Real Electric Mini
The 2020 Mini Cooper SE Is the First Real Electric Mini
Mini's first production electric car, based on the two-door Cooper Hardtop, is coming to the U.S. early next year.
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