The sun is about to set on the current-generation MINI models but there’s still time for one more celebration. Following an announcement made in mid-April about assembling the one-millionth three-door hatch from this generation, the milestone F56 has been handed over to its rightful owners. MINI Calgary from Alberta, Canada had the privilege of organizing a ceremony for the special event during which Steve and Kerry Lockhart received the car.
It’s a fully electric Cooper SE assembled back at home in Oxford, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2023. To highlight its significance, MINI has added special badges and details throughout the car, and the owners also had the pleasure of watching a video message from none other than Charlie Cooper. The grandson of company founder John Cooper told Steve and Kerry Lockhart:
“You’re going to have a lot of fun with your MINI. I remember getting my first MINI – it wasn’t my first car…because my dad said you’ve got to EARN getting your MINI Cooper, which I got when I was 18. You’re now part of the family.”
The third generation of the modern MINI hatch was introduced in late 2013 and is months away from being retired to make room for the new iteration. The zero-emission model won’t be built anymore in the UK as its direct replacement is going to be assembled in China. Parent company BMW Group has set up a 50:50 joint venture with Great Wall Motor called Spotlight Automotive to build the electric hatch. It’s going to be made at a new plant located in Zhangjiagang in the Jiangsu Province where the Aceman is also going to be assembled starting in 2024.
The Cooper SE has been sold mainly as a hatchback but a limited run of only 999 convertibles offered exclusively in Europe was announced back in mid-February. It’s unclear whether the next-gen EV will spawn a droptop derivative but even if it will, we’re not going to see it later this year when the hatch is going to be fully revealed.