Mini has locked in Australian pricing for the first all-electric Hatch, with limited First Edition cars landing first in August this year. The Electric Mini isn’t going to be cheap, but at $59,900 driveaway the brit promises style few others can match.
It’s an unconventional segment the Mini EV wades into, ‘normal’ looking EVs like the updated Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf seem the most logical competitors. However, the Mini exudes cool that only a BMW i3 or Tesla Model 3 can rival.
The consistent exterior design is good news we reckon, despite the aerodynamic wheels, closed-off grille and the chartreuse highlights, it just looks like a Mini.
If you happen not to like these small changes, the exterior can be returned to Cooper S spec using that variant’s wheels and grille, though the launch editions arriving first have the more ‘green’ exterior locked in.
The limited First Edition Mini Electrics have a few key specification tweaks. It’s hard to miss the green cues outside, including those funky 17-inch wheels.
There’s also a limited colour palette; the four options include White Silver (pictured), Midnight Black both of which get the chartreuse detailing, Chilli Red and the classic British Racing Green which with chrome detailing look a little classier.
But for $59,900 Mini includes a digital driver’s display, head-up display, leather upholstery, premium sound system and wireless AppleCarPlay and Android Auto.
Obviously, the driving experience will be different from ICE cars. Although the Mini Electric retains the base car’s front-wheel-drive layout, the centre of gravity will sit lower thanks to the low-mounted 32.6kWh battery. In fact, it should make the Mini even more go-kart-like.
That battery gets an industry-standard eight-year warranty for added peace of mind.
The Electric Mini is built at the Mini Oxford plant and rolls down the same production line as the ICE powered hatches, a great packaging and production solution; as demand fluctuates it will be easy to build more or less electric Minis.
Powering the Mini Electric is a 135kW electric motor, which will see the slightly heavier battery-equipped car complete the standard sprint in 7.3 seconds, barely slower than the first BMW-Mini Cooper S.
Mini claims a city-friendly WLTP range of 233km for the E, certainly not tesla-troubling at least. It’s also less than its more affordable rivals, the $49,990 ($54,656 driveaway) Nissan Leaf claiming 300km of WLTP range and the $53,010 ($57,686 driveaway) Ioniq premium 260km.
But the Mini Electric doesn’t have to win numbers games; it’s a stylish bit of kit that will most likely be bought as a second, city car. The range is more than enough for a working-week the average Sydney-sider’s 30km commute.
We can’t comment on the value proposition of the three-door Mini Electric without having tested it. However, the styling inside and out, build and material quality we’ve encountered in recent Mini’s should make an Electrified hatch a pretty tasty proposition.
Mini Australia is taking orders now for August 2020 delivery.
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