One of the newest small, electric cars to hit the market is the MINI Electric, an all-electric hatchback with very similar powertrain setup to the BMW i3. It’s also MINI’s first true attempt at an EV production car. While there was the MINI-E a few years back, that was more of a public beta test for electric vehicles, as it was a very low-volume, highly-exclusive, lease-only special. Now, though, the EV MINI is here as a true-blue electric hatchback and, in this new video from One Lap, it hits the track to see how it performs.
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It like look like your average MINI Cooper but underneath its skin lies and entirely different powertrain from what you’ll find in any of the brand’s other products. Essentially, what MINI’s done is take a standard Cooper 2-Door, rip out its internal combustion guts and stuck in a BMW i3 powertrain, only the latter is backwards.
While the i3 is rear-motor, rear-wheel drive, the MINI Electric is front-motor, front-wheel drive. It also has a different battery pack, as the i3’s wouldn’t fit. Powering that front electric motor is a 32.6 kWh battery pack, that helps give the little Cooper SE 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Its total range is about 110 miles, as per the EPA.
So what’s it like on track? Well, like most front-wheel drive electric cars, it suffers from a lot of understeer. That’s not really a problem, considering the fact that the little MINI Electric is a city car and not a track car.
However, what is surprising is just how often it limits power, or cuts it altogether, during heavy throttle applications. That isn’t all that encouraging, considering that MINIs are designed to be fun. So it’s a bit disappointing that it limits that its power if you matte the go-pedal.
Still, the rest of the electric MINI seems quite good. Once full power is utilized, it’s quite quick and it still feels nimble and fun. With stickier tires, it’d be even more fun, at the expensive of fuel-efficiency. As it stands from the factory, though, the MINI Electric seems to be a fun little electric hatchback that can still put that classic MINI smile on your face.