Expert Insights

Full Details of the All-Electric Mini Cooper

Laurance Yap
September 13, 2023
The next-generation Mini Cooper is going electric! With double the range of the previous electric model, impressive performance, and a spacious, sustainable interior, it's set to be the best Mini ever.
All Electric Mini Cooper exterior side profile

Electrifying a City Car Icon: The Mini Cooper

Could there be any car better suited to electric power than the Mini Cooper? Small, spacious. fun-to-drive, and affordable, the Mini has always been a great city car – and one that always also excelled on country roads and racetracks. While the previous-generation Mini was available towards the end of its life with an EV drivetrain, it was a compromised package, with a small battery and relatively limited range. The latest Mini, which has just been unveiled in full, rights these wrongs, and has been designed from the ground up for electric power.

As you would expect, the all-new electric Mini Cooper is designed for urban driving fun, as well as offering the greatest possible space for passengers and their cargo within exceptionally compact exterior dimensions. To add to those traditional virtues, the Mini Cooper EV also has significantly longer range, improved performance, and a whole new world of digital enhancement that make the fifth-generation vehicle more fun to drive, and more fun to own.

All Electric Mini Cooper exterior with visual elements

Mini Cooper: Fully Electrified Drivetrain

Sold alongside a gasoline version for the next couple of years, the new electric Mini Cooper will be available in two versions – the standard Mini Cooper E and the faster and more powerful Mini Cooper SE.

The entry point to the new electric Mini lineup is the Mini Cooper E. With a single, front-mounted electric motor, it generates 184 hp and an even more impressive 214 lb-ft of torque – exceptional numbers for a small car; it will zip to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. The Mini Cooper E comes with a 40.7-kWh battery that offers a claimed range of 189 miles on the European WLTP cycle – almost double the EPA-estimated range of the outgoing electric Mini.

With a power output of 218 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, the Mini Cooper SE will sprint to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. It comes with a larger 54.2-kWh battery, which extends its range to a claimed 249 miles on the WLTP cycle – two and a half times the range of the current model.

Improved Charging Convenience

Both the Mini Cooper E and Mini Cooper SE can be charged on an AC Level 2 home charger at up to 11 kW – par for the course with the competition. Level 3 fast charging happens at up to 75 kW in the Cooper E and 95 kW on the Cooper SE. Inn both cases, that means the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in less than half an hour.

Depending on weather conditions, the electric Mini models also have the ability to pre-condition their batteries, so that they are at the ideal temperature to receive the fastest charge when plugged in. This significantly reduces charging times, especially in the winter.

Drivers can also program the new Mini EVs to warm up or cool down the cabin automatically when the vehicle is plugged in by setting a desired departure time. This has the effect of improving comfort while simultaneously extending the vehicle’s range.

All Electric Mini Cooper exterior

Mini Cooper Electric Driving Experience

An widened track and longer wheelbase give the latest Mini a slightly larger footprint than the previous model, and provide a strong basis for driving fun. Quick steering, powerful brakes, and the low center of gravity provided by the floor-mounted battery makes this electric Mini more fun to drive than ever, while also improving the amount of space inside. A choice of wheel and tire sizes from 16 to 18 inches provides greater stability and control.

In addition to high-quality suspension hardware, Mini has also given its new electric baby electronically customizable “experience modes” that can be activated with a toggle switch on the dash. There’s a “go-kart” mode that emphasizes the Mini’s motorsport DNA by stiffening up the suspension, sharpening the steering response, and dialing back the traction control. Even the dashboard displays and interior lighting go red to emphasize the sporty feel.

On the other hand, there’s also a “green” mode which optimizes the efficiency of the electric motor, helping the electric Mini Cooper deliver maximum range. Green mode dials up regenerative braking, enables visualizations of energy flow on the dashboard’s large central screen, and even offers tips for efficient driving, awarding bonus points for gaining extra range.

The driving experiences are more immersive than ever, thanks to tailored experiences that play as you drive along, accompanying acceleration and braking. While these sounds seem like a gimmick, they truly add something to the experience.

All Electric Mini Cooper interior

Spacious, Tech-Forward Interior

With no big gasoline engine to package up front, and no gas tank to intrude on the trunk, this new electric Mini is roomier than before. The interior is light and airy, thanks to an optional panoramic glass roof. The ambient lighting can be adjusted to a variety of colors, and a choice of seats are available in different levels of sportiness. The back seat is more spacious, and can be folded down to expand the luggage compartment.

The most noticeable feature of the new interior is a large, circular OLED display mounted in the middle of the dash. It works as the instrument cluster as well as the infotainment system, and can be operated with either touch or voice control. Arranged like a smartphone, there are widgets that can be easily arranged according to the driver’s preference, and easily accessible controls for navigation, media, phone, and climate control.

Other than the central screen and air vents, there’s very little clutter in the new electric Mini’s interior. Important functions are clustered easily on the steering wheel, and a heads-up display projects necessary info onto the windshield. The dashboard, seats, and door panels are upholstered in recycled textiles that give a particularly warm, comfortable feeling.

Remains Recognizably Mini

While it has been completely redesigned, the new Mini still looks like a Mini, but with a much cleaner, crisper look than before. Excess trim has been eliminated, and there are no more plastic pieces around the wheel arches. The headlights are still circular and friendly, and flank a blanked-out, body-color “grille,” while at the rear, the tail lamps are triangular, pointing at a horizontal trim strip that makes it easy to open the rear hatch.

Even with electric power, the new Mini is still a Mini. Particularly in compact, three-door form, it embodies the core of the brand – a spacious, fun-to-drive runabout that’s also a blast when you’re ready to blast out of the city. And thanks to its bigger battery, better efficiency, and much longer range, those blasts out of the city just got easier and far more convenient.

All mileage is EPA-estimated.