Pure Electric MINI Cooper SE Details Revealed

MINI have now revealed details about their upcoming all-electric Cooper SE model. This is the brand’s first venture into all-electric mobility, but the BMW Group at large has drawn from their experience with the i3 to create this electric hatch.

2020 MINI Cooper SE

Here’s what they’ve shown so far.

Powertrain

The car will be front-wheel drive (unlike its PHEV SUV cousin, the MINI Countryman SE PHEV ALL4). It will be powered by a 184hp/270Nm motor that consumes 15 – 13.2kWh/100km. This allows for a 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds. The electric motor is lighter and smaller than a conventional petrol or diesel engine. That creates better axle load distribution with a lower centre of gravity (despite being raised about 2cm to accommodate for the new battery pack). The car weighs about 1365kg (+145kg than the Cooper S 3 Door).

Battery & Range

Energy is provided by a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with that’s split into 12 modules. The 32.6 kWh battery forms a T-shaped unit and is placed in the vehicle floor. This gives the MINI Cooper SE roughly 235-270km of range based on preliminary WLTP testing. What’s more, because the battery is placed in the floor, there is no penalty to the luggage space and has the same boot volume as the standard MINI Cooper 3-Door (211 L or 731 L with back seats folded). The battery can be charged from a household socket, a wallbox or public charging stations. Fast DC charging up to 50KW is possible as well.

Other Key Highlights

The new MINI Cooper SE takes many design characterisitcs from the Cooper 3-Door, but adds model-specific accents as seen on the Countryman SE PHEV model. Both the outside and inside feature model-specific items including a display and control element unseen in previous MINIs. Standard equipment include LED headlamps, 2-zone automatic air conditioning, electric parking brake and Connected Navigation.

Energy recuperation can be configured at 2 levels, so single pedal driving is possible.

For more on this new electric MINI, check out the excerpts from the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)

Characteristic MINI design with model-specific accentuations.

Selective modifications and discreet differentiations regarding the conventionally powered model are also characteristic of the design of the new MINI Cooper SE. Powerful proportions, the typical three-part structure consisting of the body frame, all-round greenhouse and roof, short overhangs and widely set wheels are again the characteristic features that set the first purely electrically powered MINI apart from the masses. Precisely applied accentuations indicate its future-oriented drive system. The charge connection is located above the right-hand rear wheel – exactly where the fuel filler neck is positioned on the conventionally powered MINI 3 Door. An embossed MINI Electric logo marks the difference in terms of energy input. Yellow versions of this signet appear on the lateral turn indicator inserts, known as side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grill. The central element of the MINI Cooper SE front section also features the hallmark hexagonal contour, but this is closed because the electric motor requires very little cooling air. A yellow decorative bar on the grill and exterior mirror caps are finished in the same colour, thereby rounding off the model-specific design features. The MINI Cooper SE is fitted as standard with LED headlamps.

Like the model-specific front radiator grill, the largely closed undercarriage and the distinctively designed rear apron contribute to reducing aerodynamic drag. The fact that the electrically powered MINI does not require an exhaust system likewise facilitates air ducting in the undercarriage and at the rear. An aerodynamically optimised surface is also to be found on the optional 17-inch light alloy wheels with asymmetrical design in the MINI Electric Corona Spoke 2-tone version. Like the standard 16-inch light alloy wheels in MINI Electric Revolite Spoke design, the latter are available exclusively for the new MINI Cooper SE.

Pure driving fun: electric motor with 135 kW/184 hp.

Spontaneously initiated drive torque and continuous power delivery not interrupted by gear shifts – these are the characteristic features of the drive technology fitted in the new MINI Cooper SE. They ensure hallmark MINI driving fun in a novel form that offers a particularly intense experience. The power source is the latest, highly powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group. The specific design principle of the drive enables a high level of power delivery that extends into high engine speed ranges, an exceptionally high level of efficiency and smooth, low-vibration running. The motor of the new MINI Cooper SE mobilises a maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp. Its maximum torque of 270 Nm is already available from standstill, as is characteristic of electric motors. Power transmission to the front wheels is by means of a transmission with single-stage configuration and integrated differential.

As a result, the new MINI Cooper SE develops thrilling forward propulsion at every movement of the accelerator pedal, ensuring an exceptionally spirited driving experience in urban traffic in particular. The new MINI Cooper SE accelerates from standing to 60 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Over the first 60 metres it effortlessly keeps pace with conventionally powered sports cars. The purely electrically powered MINI accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds; its top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

The new MINI Cooper SE develops its sporty flair not only with striking spontaneity but also virtually noiselessly. For this reason it is fitted as standard with acoustic pedestrian protection. A distinctive sound created especially for the MINI Cooper SE is generated via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range guarantees an acoustic presence on the road that is typical of MINI.

Thrilling agility thanks to innovative driving dynamics system.

Electric drive takes the typical MINI concept of go-kart feeling into an entirely new and fascinating dimension. The enthralling agile handling of the new MINI Cooper SE is supported by suspension technology that has been refined and harmonised on a model-specific basis. In conjunction with purely electric drive too, the tried-and-tested design principle of the suspension – with single-joint spring strut at the front, a multilink rear axle that is unique within the competitive field and electromechanical steering – guarantees maximum ride stability, steering precision and spontaneity when changing direction. With a centre of gravity that is at least 30 millimetres lower than in the MINI Cooper S, optimum weight distribution helps the new MINI Cooper SE achieve a level of cornering dynamics that is unique within the small car segment.

In order to ensure that the high level of torque supplied by the electric motor immediately on set-off can be put to use for hallmark brand riding fun without loss of traction, the new MINI Cooper SE has an innovative DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system. This drive slip control system, designed specifically for the spontaneous power delivery provided by electric motors, makes for particularly supreme driving qualities in all road and weather conditions. The so-called wheel-slip limiting close to the actuator means that control operations are calculated directly inside the drive system rather than in a distant control unit with long signal pathways, as is the case in conventional driving stability systems. This perceptibly optimises both set-off traction and driving stability in brake energy recovery mode, as well as when accelerating out of tight bends.

MINI Driving Modes with four settings.

The first purely electrically powered MINI also enables the driver to adapt the vehicle setting to the current situation on the road as well as to their own personal preferences. The MINI Driving Modes are selected by means of a switch located on the right-hand side of the toggle bar. There are four modes to choose from in the MINI Cooper SE. Sport mode differs from the standard MID setting, with a more direct characteristic steering curve and a particularly spontaneous response of the drive system.

The comfort-oriented steering characteristics of the MID setting are also active in GREEN mode, as well as in the new GREEN+ mode specially configured for the new MINI Cooper SE. What is more, the drive system in these two latter modes is geared towards maximum efficiency. In GREEN+ mode, additionally selected comfort functions such as heating, air conditioning and seat heating are limited or deactivated in order to increase the range of the vehicle.

Brake energy recovery for configuration at two levels.

Part of the characteristic driving experience in an electrically powered BMW Group model is the so-called one-pedal feeling. In urban traffic in particular, the vehicle perceptibly decelerates as soon as the driver removes their foot from the accelerator. This effect occurs because in coasting mode the electric motor performs the function of a generator, transforming kinetic energy back into electric power, which is in turn fed back into the high-voltage battery. The result of this is that the electrically powered vehicle can be appropriately decelerated at low speeds without using the brake system and can therefore be driven using a single pedal. The extent to which brake energy is recovered and the vehicle is decelerated during coasting phases can be determined via the motor control programming system.

The new MINI Cooper SE is the first electrically powered BMW Group model in which the driver can influence the degree of recuperation efficiency. A toggle switch positioned to the left of the start/stop unit provides the choice of intense or only low-level recuperation with the relevant deceleration impact – regardless of the MINI Driving Modes. In this way, the deceleration response on load reversal can be precisely adapted to the driver’s personal driving style when adopting a dynamic driving style, for example. Depending on individual preferences, it is possible to make use of the momentum available on entering a bend or else bring about a more intense braking effect. In order to ensure maximum efficiency in the MINI Cooper SE, the high level of recuperation is automatically included in the standard setting every time the motor is started.

Model-specific cockpit with digital instrument panel.

The new MINI Cooper SE is fitted as standard with a model-specific instrument cluster consisting of a 5.5-inch colour screen in Black Panel design behind the steering wheel. At the centre of this fully digital screen, the road speed is shown in figures with a peripheral scale band. The speed band is also displayed in the light ring of the central instrument – in red (SPORT mode), white (MID) or green (GREEN and GREEN+), according to the mode selected.

Other digital displays in the instrument cluster provide information on the charge level of the high-voltage battery, the currently selected MINI Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and Check Control messages. In addition, details of the range available, current drive power, outside temperature, time and mileage are displayed, along with traffic sign detection reports and high-guiding directions from the navigation system. What is more, it is possible to access telephone contact and audio programme lists.

During charging, the digital instrument panel likewise supplies important information. If the vehicle is connected to a power socket or charging station, it is possible to read not just the time and outside temperature but also the available range and the charge status in per cent. The time is also displayed at which the high-voltage battery will be fully charged. The colour of the panel changes depending on the situation: from orange during initialisation to yellow in the course of the charging process, and green when the energy reserves are fully refreshed. Any charging error is indicated by means of red colouring.

Other special interior features include the model-specific gear selector lever on the centre console. The new MINI Cooper SE is also fitted with an electric parking brake that is activated and triggered by means of a switch on the centre console.

MINI ELECTRIC provides flexibility when charging.

The energy for electrifying driving fun is drawn by the new MINI Cooper SE from the power grid, to which it can be connected via a conventional household power socket, the MINI ELECTRIC Wallbox or a public charging station. Its charging connection is designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. Above the connection, a charge level indicator displays orange signals for initialisation, pulsating yellow light for an ongoing charging operation, and green light for a fully charged battery.

The standard charging cable is available for connection to a household socket. A MINI ELECTRIC Wallbox is optionally available for home charging as well as a three-phase cable for use at public charging stations. Both options allow the high-voltage battery of the new MINI Cooper SE to be charged with a maximum capacity of 11 kW – to 80 percent in two and a half hours, and 100 percent in three and a half hours. A DC fast-charging station allows the vehicle’s energy reserves to be refreshed even more quickly. The charging unit of the new MINI Cooper SE is designed for a maximum charging capacity of 50 kW, allowing an 80 per cent charge to be achieved in just 35 minutes.

An installation service is also offered in conjunction with the MINI ELECTRIC Wallbox. The wallbox can be mounted in garages as well as in covered car ports. The ChargeNow service is available for maximum charging convenience: this gives customers access to the world’s biggest network of public charging stations. Registration at the charging station and payment of the electric current used is via the ChargeNow card or the relevant smartphone app.

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