Zippy EV Runabout Goes Topless
Despite its short range – the EPA estimates just 110 miles from a full charge for the 2022 model – the Mini Cooper S Electric is one of our favorite small electric cars. Designed primarily for urban use, its zippy powertrain, nimble handling, and compact package make it a blast to drive. And so long as you’re able to charge it overnight like most EV owners, the range is more than enough for most daily uses; for longer trips, Level 3 fast charging can fill its small battery quickly and easily. Now, the Mini Cooper S Electric is available as an open-air convertible, bringing even more driving fun to an already appealing package.
Actually, the new Mini Cooper SE Convertible is the first new electric convertible since the introduction of the original Tesla roadster over 15 years ago – and it will be the only electric convertible available on the market when deliveries start later this year. Open-air driving will let drivers take full advantage of its quiet, swift running and zero emissions, letting you enjoy the great outdoors in a way few have ever experienced in a convertible.
Special Design Touches
Designed to mark the end of the current generation of Mini – and pave the way for an all-new platform coming next year, the Mini Cooper SE Convertible has a number of unique design touches. Available in just two colors, Enigmatic Black and White Silver, it is accented with Resolute Bronze trim on the surrounds of the front and rear lights, the door handles, and under the windows, with logos and lettering in polished black. The E (for electric) logo from the MINI Cooper S Electric is found on the front and rear, highlighting its commitment to zero-emissions driving fun. 17-inch wheels with a two-tone design are actually made of 100-percent recycled aluminum.
Inside, sporty seats feature seat heating and adjustable thigh support. The multi-function steering wheel is also heated and features an electric badge at its base. High-gloss black trim is stylishly set off by variable ambient lighting. Yellow color accents throughout, including the start-stop toggle switch, emphasize the fully electric character of the open-top four-seater.
The large central display screen and rotary controller on the console give drivers access to a number of eDrive functions, similar to the Mini Cooper S Electric. They give information on energy consumption, range, and even tips for an economical driving style. All essential information is also summarized on a head-up display. On longer journeys, there’s standard active cruise control and the Mini Driving Assistant, which enhances comfort.
While 50-kWh fast charging doesn’t really compare well to some of the more recent premium EV offerings on the market, in practice, it’s more than fast enough to top up the electric Mini’s little battery very quickly. Mini claims a 0-80 percent charge takes just 35 minutes, and most of the time, you won’t run the battery down to empty, so a DC fast charge is even faster. Even on a 7-kWh home charger, you’ll need just four hours or so to fill the “tank,” making this one of the more convenient cars to own if you have regular access to a charger.
The Mini Cooper SE Convertible is a strictly limited edition, which should make it exclusive and collectible. Just 999 vehicles will be made, alongside the gasoline-powered Mini Convertible in the Netherlands.