Expert Insights

The Next Generation All-Electric Mini

Laurance Yap
June 13, 2023
One of the most fun-to-drive city cars is getting a major upgrade. Starting next year, the next-generation Mini Cooper will follow an electric-first philosophy. The Electric Mini Cooper comes with a major upgrade in power and almost double the range.
Mini Cooper EV exterior front

Electric Mini Cooper: The Next Generation

The Mini is one of the original, and arguably still one of the best, city cars. Originally introduced in the 1960s, it rewrote the rule book for how small cars should be packaged and how they should drive, combining a spacious interior, a compact exterior, and excellent driving dynamics. The modern Mini, introduced in the early 2000s under BMW’s stewardship, has been equally successful, available in a wide variety of configurations.

Since 2020, drivers have been able to drive a Mini as an electric car. Last year, the three-door EV became the Mini’s most popular model – despite a compromised package and relatively poor range. For the next generation, which will be launched at the end of 2023, Mini is going electric-first.

Electric Mini on a Race Track

Electric Mini Cooper: Range

The current Mini Cooper S electric has an estimated 114-mile range from its 32-kWh battery, according to the EPA estimates, making it a great car for use in urban environments, but limiting its flexibility for longer trips. The next-generation Mini will offer two battery sizes – 40.7 kWh in the less powerful Mini Cooper E, and 54.2 kWh in the Mini Cooper SE. While the authorities have yet to provide official ratings, Mini estimates a range for both models between 186 and 248 miles – a massive increase, which will make these great cars for road-tripping as well as errand-running in the city.

Thanks to their electric motors, both the Mini Cooper E and Mini Cooper SE will offer instantaneous torque to drivers in every condition, and with no gears to shift, acceleration is seamless as well as swift. The base Mini Cooper E comes with a 181-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels – more than the current Cooper S Electric model. The new Mini Cooper SE will up power to 214 hp, which is almost as much as the gasoline-powered John Cooper Works model, the fastest Mini available.

Electric Mini Cooper driving on a highway in winter

Electric Mini Driving Experience

It's not just the acceleration that will make the new electric Mini models fun to drive. Since the new generation is designed for electric power from the ground up, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery is installed in the floor instead of packaged below the rear seat. This improves weight distribution and road holding, and also increases stability and agility.

To tune the electric Mini’s chassis, the company was able to draw on development expertise from BMW to achieve improved driving dynamics in the new Mini Cooper Electric. Now entering its fifth generation, the new electric Mini models should uphold the brand’s legendary go-kart handling feel. Mini and BMW are also working on major advancements to technology, efficiency, and power delivery to ensure the car remains fun to drive, while offering all of the latest safety features.

Electric Mini Cooper driving on a highway with mountains in the background

EV Platform offers More Space

Since it was designed electric-first, the new Mini Cooper E and Mini Cooper SE will also offer even better space efficiency, which has always been a hallmark of the brand. Particularly in a compact vehicle, the advantages of going electric are even more noticeable: not having to accommodate a gasoline engine up front liberates even more interior room, and also allows for an expanded luggage compartment. There should be enough room for four adults, and folding rear seats will allow owners to carry more cargo when necessary.

With several months to go before its introduction, Mini is currently refining all of the vehicle’s systems and its final design. The emissions-free models will begin production in November at BMW’s factory in Lepizig, Germany, alongside the plug-in hybrid Mini Countryman. We expect to see the first production models on North American roads in early 2024.