It’s been teased for some time, but now the Mini Cooper SE is finally here. The fully-electric car is unmistakably a Mini because it doesn’t shed that distinctive look. Still, some unique design qualities like the cartoonish wheels and blocked-out grille set it apart from other Minis.
While you could celebrate Mini finally “getting with the times” and launching an EV, in all honesty this is a half-hearted effort. Instead of creating an EV from the ground up, Mini converted a Cooper, and that usually doesn’t turn out so well. On the WLTP cycle, the car is estimated to go 146 to 167 miles on a full charge. That’s not exactly impressive. In other words, this is not the uber-practical electric car Mini and its parent company BMW will try to spin it as.
At least Mini sunk the lithium-ion battery low enough in the chassis that the cargo and passenger areas aren’t diminished at all. Using a DC fast-charging station in public, 80 percent of the battery can be replenished in 35 minutes. That would’ve been impressive a few years ago.
The electric motor puts out a peak 181 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque. While those aren’t earth-shattering figures, they’re enough that the car shouldn’t feel sluggish. According to Mini, 0-62 acceleration takes a respectable 7.3 seconds.