MINI’s start to the year included the release of their second facelift to the F-series model series. With the G-series around the corner in two to three years, the brand bosses in Munich and Oxford decided to push out one more lifecycle update to refresh the looks of its lineup.
Among the series of MINI models, we find the MINI SE or MINI Electric or MINI EV, a funky emission-free front-wheel driven machine, which carries around a 135 kW/184 hp electric motor connected to a 32.6 kWh battery pack and a range of about 203 to 234 kilometers, according to MINI. In reality you won’t get much further than 160 km on a single charge. Like any other EV you should deduct about 20% of its communicated range.
On the technical side of things, the MINI hasn’t received many upgrades. The model-specific chassis set-up and the low center of gravity enables the MINI Cooper SE to deliver its hallmark MINI agility, making it one of the most fun electric cars I have been able to pilot.
It is nippy, lovely, brisk and extremely well suitable for city driving. It is never hard, but only a touch firm like any other MINI I have driven before. You can opt for four different driving modes of which the mid setting seems to be the best to use. Only go for Green or Green+ when you really want to save battery power.
My test car rode on 17 inch Electric Power Spoke two-tone alloy wheels, but there are more than seven different wheels choices available for this MINI, which offers you a lot of choice to specify the car to your liking. You can even choose the multi-tone roof, which has color gradient from San Marino Blue through Pearly Aqua to Jet Black, extending from the windscreen frame to the rear. Black exterior mirror caps and Piano Black high-gloss exterior elements, including the grille, headlamp and rear lamp surrounds, MINI logos, rear model lettering, door handles and side scuttles, are all available now as well.
Subtle Exterior Upgrades
Looking at practicality, the MINI isn’t a winner over its rivals, but the level of personalization and choices are. You can make the EV look like a normal car without all of its funky wheels and little EV design details. MINI even took off many of its EV-logos with this facelift.
For instance, the front doesn’t have a E-logo on it anymore. Instead it only has a green “S”, complemented by new, darkened headlights and the hexagonal radiator grille with its mustache look. The air curtains replace the two driving lights on either side of the front bumper. They are now integrated in the adaptive LED headlights. The redesigned rear apron still has an E-logo, which you could remove if you want to go fully under the EV-radar.
Small Upgrades Inside As Well
Like the exterior, the interior received an upgrade as well. The EV has new printed MINI Electric logos on the door sill trims, sports seats are available in a light grey fabric/leatherette combination, and you can get the newly designed interior surfaces in aluminum. There is also an anthracite-colored roof lining. As standard, you will also now get steering wheel heating and the multimedia system with its new main menu with live widgets. The Active Cruise Control now features a Stop & Go function for the first time as well.
The Typical Pocket Rocket
All in all, the MINI SE offers everything what you want from a MINI and a bit more now that it has received a few new upgrades and a fashion boost in department of interior and exterior looks. The electric vehicle is all that I remembered from my first drive last year. It didn’t change or alter my experience nor what I thought of the little hatchback.
For those interested in the MINI brand, it might well be one of the finest cars in the lineup right now that offers everything you want from a city car. Yes, more range and faster charging would be greatly appreciated, but for those who can life with 160 km of range and have home charging available, NI C[Photos: Vincent Toth]