The Mini Cooper SE 2020 targets urban performance beyond the exurban beach. And the performance is exceptional. The life of the battery will be better suited to urban / suburban driving than treks on vacation. According to Mr Mini, the SE will travel between 235 and 270 km on the basis of tests conducted in Europe. Some reports say that the EPA range will be as low as € 114,000 per charge, while pricing in the US should start between $ 35,000 and $ 38,000 based on European pricing, although conversions from the euro to dollars can be simplistic.
Some drawbacks relate to the origin of the car: The three-door hatchback body is based on a Mini design dating back to 2014. The powertrain is based on the first-generation BMW i3, which dates back to 2013. Upgraded in both next years, and the electric Mini should follow.
Mini took advantage of the occasion of the Formula E race in Brooklyn to invite a dozen writers and automotive writers to try the new car on the 1.5 mile track. (Once the professionals have finished the race for the day.) Flat driving was not possible on a narrow track. What was clear was how fast the car was accelerating at speeds such as the one you felt when you racked up steam when you entered a freeway ramp or when you turned to a red light that had turned yellow. There is very little inclination even at the 180 degree turn of the track.
More importantly, when you press a console button for maximum regeneration, the resistance provided by the generator charging the battery effectively takes over braking tasks. Driving in a very close wave of five similar Minis, the release of the throttle immediately dramatically slowed my car down for the next turn. It was enough for me to brake the brakes several times on a 15 lap track, usually when the pre-collision warning indicator was flashing on the head-up display. (The PCS warning provides sufficient notice.)
If you have already practiced karting, you feel the same feeling of a pedal: as soon as you release the throttle, you brake. If you do not have kite, it's like being on a riding mower when you lift it. (If you have not been on the mower yet, well, it's exciting for 15 minutes.) For drivers who find that maximum regeneration is disturbing, at least in the beginning, you can operate the switch for a more minimal braking regeneration.
To complement the urban sporting experience, Mini offered night tours during the weekend race. In this case, the cars were driven by professionals of the company, because it was difficult enough to drink at 18 hours without drinking (the FIA race sponsor has a 0 alcohol rule, 0% for all those who go on the track) and impossible to do it. arrive at 22 hours without a cocktail or two.
In Brooklyn and Manhattan, where there were a lot of people, it was an ideal car to move at night, many times, with zero emissions. This is a good car for two, although this two-door has seat belts for five. At 152 inches long (over 12 feet), it's easy to find openings in traffic and then on the sidewalk.
The Mini Cooper SE (American name) / Mini Electric (European name) is a front-drive car with front drive. The 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery forms a T that sits between the front seats and under the rear seats. The electric motor has a nominal power of 135 kW or 181 US and 270 Nm (199 lb-ft). This is a graft of the BMW i3 carbon fiber urban vehicle, or Mini, "The drive technology comes from the BMW Group's competence centers for electromobility in Dingolfing and Landshut (Germany). ). " The production is in Oxford, England. .
The battery / engine combination is suitable for 7.3 seconds strokes at 0-100 km / h (0 to 62 mph). It feels particularly strong at 30 mph. The low position of the battery packs lowers the center of gravity of the car by 30 mm (1.2 inches). You will have to work to roll this Mini. It weighs 1,365 kg (3,010 pounds), or 145 kg (320 pounds) more than the Cooper S gasoline engine with automatic transmission. The maximum speed is 93 mph. Charging is possible from a 12-volt outlet, a wall-mounted AC charger or a public charging station, including the 50 kW DC fast charge. At 50 kW, you get 80% charge in 35 minutes.
Electronic components include Apple CarPlay, a 5.5-inch multi-information display in the dashboard, and a 6.5-inch LCD screen forming a large circle at the top center of the stack.
The car is shipped to the United States for a year and a half. But judgments are being formed. Some of the early press reports / analysts say that it would cost a lot of money for a car traveling only 114 km in the United States. (Ed Kim, an analyst at AutoPacific, says it's a good price / performance ratio for the EV 2015). Prices in the United States should be in the mid-thirties for a Mini. This is a bit better value for money at 140-150 miles (European WLPT rating). BMW executives said they did not want to impose a higher price on the Mini Cooper SE. Our US starting price estimate of $ 35,000 to $ 39,000 is a simple conversion of the British price of £ 27,900 or European price of £ 34,400. There will be three cut lines: Signature, Signature Plus and Iconic.
At a press conference held in Brooklyn last weekend, Pieter Note, a member of BMW's board of directors for brand-name sales, was mistreated by his half, who said that A short-range EV was more of an urban than suburban car, yet most urban areas, especially New York City, have a limited number of loading stations. (BMW and Mini have a relationship with the ChargePoint network.) And, according to the writers and editors living in the Big Apple, when you go to a garage that claims to offer charging electric vehicles, it may that he is not the type to work properly. , or there is no free loading space. This is not a BMW-Mini problem, however.
The real problem of BMW Mini lies in the future of Mini: it is primarily a brand of sedans / coupes at a time when SUV dominate. The electrification could boost sales of Mini, which peaked at 66,502 in the US in 2013 and which had led Mini to say that they would sell 100,000 vehicles a year by 2020. Instead, they are only 43,684 last year and could be only 36,000 this year. , based on cumulative sales of less than 18,000 in June. Mini's problems may be one of the reasons why President Harald Krueger chose not to seek an extension of his contract, which will expire next year.
Our interpretation is that the range – say 140 km – is a little disappointing in terms of price. But Mini needed to put an EV on the market. His prototype, released in 2008, was made available to 400 enthusiasts and had a lot of time to digest their comments. (One of them was that they did not like replacing the backseat, which shows how much technology has come in. Now, the back seat is back.) That should have already been. We assume that the Mini Cooper SE will remain in service for 2-3 years, then we will see a significantly improved version using the new BMW-Mini technology. BMW will ship the iX3 – an electric X3 battery – in about a year, with a 300 hp engine and a battery that can travel 250 miles with a charge. The next electric mini will probably use a smaller version of this engine.
Meanwhile, for the price of what the Mini Cooper is likely to cost, you can get Tesla Model 3, Kira Niro EV, Chevrolet Bolt or Nissan Leaf Plus with 226 to 258 miles or range. Only the Tesla corresponds to Mini as a perceived luxury brand, which may justify some of the prices. Or for $ 30,000, you could get a 150-mile Nissan Leaf. Mini must rely on the pleasure factor to seduce buyers. Whether: fun and fast.