A couple of months ago we had another go at the new 2020 MINI Cooper SE electric car. This was our second time driving the electric hatch after its international media launch in Miami earlier this year. Clearly, many things have changed since January so this test drive was a bit unusual.
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Armed with the necessary protective gear – read face mask, gloves and hand sanitizer – we headed out to the beautiful City of Chicago for a more comprehensive test. Over the course of a few days we managed to put around 400 miles and create an extensive video review. Before we jump into the footage, let’s recap some of the main points of the MINI Cooper SE.
The MINI Cooper SE has a 181 hp (135kW) electric motor that makes 199 lb-ft of torque and is the same motor used in the BMW i3. The MINI Cooper SE, however, is a typical MINI and front wheel drive versus the BMW i3 which is rear-wheel drive. The electric engine is tucked neatly under the front bonnet.
While the BMW i3 runs the 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, the MINI Cooper SE does it in 6.9. Top speed on the MINI Cooper SE is 93 vs. 98 mph in the i3. MINI’s battery technology is a 94Ah pack modified in a T-shape to fit the car’s layout. Therefore, the MINI Cooper SE has battery pack of 32.6 kWh and 28.9 kWh net.
Some reports suggest that the MINI Cooper SE uses a newer CATL battery, not the Samsung battery from the i3 because the i3’s battery wouldn’t fit underneath without raising the car up many inches. The CATL battery allegedly offers about the same capacity in a more compact package and MINI says it is less prone to cold-weather range-reduction than the i3’s Samsung battery.
The MINI Cooper SE model we tested was equipped with the Iconic trim with the Head-Up display, leather seats, large 8.8″ center display, and self-parking capability. The MSRP is $37,750.
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