Today was a day that marked a new era for the iconic MINI brand. The British marque revealed the 2024 MINI Cooper SE (J01), the newest addition to the electric vehicle family. Of course, it was joined by the new MINI Countryman as well. The compact electric vehicle brings a familiar, yet renewed design language which delivers a balance of nostalgia and innovation.
A Design Evolution
The design philosophy is a testament to the “less is more” approach, with smooth, clean surfaces and updated lighting that created a sleek and dynamic profile. Gone were the side scuttles, replaced by flush door handles that seamlessly integrated into the car’s minimalist design. The fender flares had vanished, giving the Cooper SE a cleaner and more aerodynamic silhouette, with a drag coefficient lowered to an impressive 0.28. At the front, the classic circular headlights remained, flanking a redesigned octagonal grille that breathed new life into the iconic face of MINI.
But the changes didn’t stop at the exterior. Inside the cabin, a complete redesign awaited, embracing the same minimalist ethos. The centerpiece of the interior was undoubtedly the circular OLED screen, measuring 9.4 inches in diameter. This innovative display served as the hub for an all-new infotainment system, running on the MINI Operating System 9.
Two Electric Powertrains
Under the hood, the 2024 MINI Cooper E is powered by an electric motor that generated 184 horsepower and an instant torque of 290 Newton meters. This spirited powertrain allowed the Cooper E to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.3 seconds. For those seeking even more exhilaration, there was the Cooper SE variant, delivering a formidable 218 horsepower and 330 Newton meters of torque, reducing the sprint time to a thrilling 6.7 seconds.
The Cooper E boasts a 40.7-kWh battery, offering a maximum range of 190 miles in the WLTP test cycle. Stepping up to the Cooper SE meant upgrading to a 54.2-kWh battery pack, which extended the range to 250 miles. Charging was a breeze, with the base model supporting up to 75 kW and the SE variant accommodating a robust 95 kW, making it possible to go from 10% to 80% charge in less than half an hour at a fast-charging station.
Built in China
As the world embraced the electric revolution, MINI was also making significant changes to its production strategy. The electric Cooper hatch was moving its assembly line from the UK to China, where it would be manufactured by Spotlight Automotive Limited. This joint venture, formed by the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor, is set to bring the future of MINI to life in a new factory in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province.
There are no news yet on a U.S.-bound MINI Cooper electric, but if production eventually expands to Oxford, we expect the car to land on U.S. shores as well.