Mini may have been criticized by some fans and part of the media about being too late to the electric vehicle party but the British brand seems to be off to a good start.
The BMW-owned brand has already received an impressive number of reservations for the 2020 Mini Cooper SE. “So far, we already have over 45,000 expressions of interest,” Elena Eder, project manager for the electric Mini, told Germany’s FAZ newspaper.
Mini’s first mass-produced electric vehicle will arrive in dealerships in early 2020 and customers who want to secure an early build slot can register on the company’s website and pay a deposit. In the UK, for example, a £500 (approximately $605) fee guarantees the buyer to be among the first to get the new Cooper SE.
Obviously, this does not mean Mini has got 45,000 sales in the bag since people can change their minds and ask for a refund if the delivery takes too long, for example. Chances are the manufacturing process won’t be a walk in the park since the Cooper SE is scheduled to enter production at the UK’s Oxford plant on November 1, only one day after the country’s planned EU exit. While Elena Eder admits Brexit is a “disruptive factor,” she says Mini is ready for every eventuality.
The electric city car starts at £27,900 in the UK and €32,500 in Germany, before incentives. The Mini Cooper SE uses the same vehicle architecture as ICE-powered models and sports a familiar styling as well.
The EV is powered by a 135 kW (184 PS / 181 hp) electric motor shared with the BMW i3s, which also produces 270 Nm (200 lb-ft) of instant torque. The FWD model features a 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that enables a driving range of 235 to 270 km (146 to 167 miles).