Proof (perhaps) that ‘driving-fun’ and ‘internal combustion’ are not exclusive.
British firm Mini will be looking to introduce its first-ever zero-emissions hot hatch it seems, perhaps putting driving fun ahead of driving range for the first time as the development goal for an electric vehicle. Amazingly it seems that this car, which will the first of its kind in the industry (and not just for the brand), will be debuting later this year, and not in 2020 or 2021 as you probably assumed by the time you got to this line.
It’ll be called the Cooper S E, and it’ll be based on the existing Mini 3-door. It’ll use the same UKL1 platform too, but it’ll be significantly modified for the application, given that UKL1 was not developed with full-electric powertrains in mind. It’ll most logically make use of the electric motor from the BMW i3S, which means that it’ll provide about 135kW and about 270Nm, which is similar power to a regular Cooper S.
There should be about 200km of range on a single charge – which might not seem a lot in the context of Tesla EVs, but is pretty impressive for current-day compact EVs. What it won’t take from the i3 is the range-extender setup, so you won’t be doing over 500km between charges though.
According to Autocar, the Mini EV will bear some design resemblance to the Mini Electric concept that we saw in 2017, though it’ll largely look like the regular Mini Cooper S on which its based. Expect to see the usual sort of differentiating features that would denote an ‘E’ car, like lime-green design highlights and a filled-in grille, and possibly comical wheels like the ones on the BMW i3.