It’s been a big week for BMW, and it all had to do with the Group’s Annual Press Conference. We caught our first glimpse at the next-generation 5 Series in electric i5 guise, as well as news about a first-ever iX2 and another addition to the growing lineup, an i5 Touring. We’ve also learned there will be at least six Neue Klasse-based EVs on sale before 2028, complete with a new Panoramic Vision head-up display.

However, the event wasn’t all about the core brand as a brand-new MINI was brought onto the stage. BMW Group chairman Oliver Zipse briefly spoke about the next-generation Cooper SE, showing the production-ready prototype with a new camouflage featuring a colorful funky pattern. Once again, the electric hatchback will be sold exclusively as a three-door hardtop model.


Unlike the outgoing model manufactured at home in the United Kingdom, the replacement will be assembled in China. The BMW Group and Great Wall Motor created a 50:50 joint venture back in 2019 to build this car under the Spotlight Automotive Limited company. It’s going to be manufactured at a new plant in Zhangjiagang in the country’s Jiangsu Province where the annual capacity will reach 160,000. It’s the same place where next year’s electric-only Aceman subcompact crossover will be made.

Relocating production from Oxford to China is expected to put an end to Cooper SE’s availability in the United States. However, there is a glimmer of hope the next electric hatch will be sold in the US if a recent report from Sky News is to be believed. The British news channel claims parent company BMW Group will soon announce an investment of nearly $600 million at the UK site to build EVs, and one of them could be the new Cooper SE. However, nothing is official yet.

2024 MINI Cooper SE 2 830x467

Meanwhile, the revamped EV will break cover in early September at the IAA Munich and will be sold in E and SE configurations. The former will have 181 hp (135 kW) and 186 miles (300 kilometers) of range from a 40-kWh battery while the latter is going to pack 215 hp (160 kW) from a larger 54-kWh battery. These range numbers are based on the WLTP test cycle, so EPA figures will most likely be lower.

Other confirmed specs are related to the vehicle’s size: 3860 mm (152 inches) long, 1435 mm (56.5 in) tall, and a wheelbase of 2525 mm (99.4 in). A high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) derivative will follow later this decade, and MINI has said future EVs won’t be limited to 93 mph (150 km/h) anymore.

Source: BMW Group