If there is one thing that impressed me the most when it came to the Mini E, it was the absolute silence as BMW’s Board Member Dr. Klaus Draeger and the Deputy Mayor of L.A, have drove off the stage. To me, the Mini E launch was the main event for BMW here at the L.A Show and they seemed to be putting all of their efforts into its worldwide debut. From the unveiling event to the overprotective people around the Mini, the first electric car built by BMW, has grabbed most of the attention.
What can I say more about the Mini E? It can go for 156 miles between charges, it’s a two seater car since a large lithium-ion battery replaces the back seat. The MINI E’s electric drive train produces 220 pound-feet of torque, which with the single-stage gearbox takes it from 0-60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds, not bad for a car that doesn’t rely on a combustion engine. What we learned is that the Mini E is a useful mostly as a city car and it’s limited to 95 mph, not sure if by choice or by simply technology limitations at this time.
It features a new suspension system tuned to match its weight distribution and according to Dr. Draeger, it still has the BMW’s agility, handling and driving experience. This is something we will be able to report more on tomorrow when we will get a chance to drive the Mini E, along with the upcoming BMW 335d.
I personally asked the question that everyone was thinking it: when will we see a production model and unfortunately, that is still being kept under the table and BMW would like to see first how the Mini E handles in a real testing environment, and this is where the 500 leased Mini’s come in place. It was once again mentioned that the electric Mini will be leased for $850 to selected people in the California and New York.