It’s not a small step for Mini, it’s a giant leap!
The British automotive marque owned by BMW has made a statement about its ambitions of becoming an all-electric brand at the IAA International Motor Show in Munich by unveiling the all-electric fifth-generation of its iconic Cooper model, as well as offering its SUV, the Countryman as an EV option too.
Mini Cooper: An icon, reinvented
While the Cooper has been available as an EV in the UK since 2020 (we’ve reviewed it at ev.tips), it’s a bold move by Mini to build upon the vestiges of the petrol-powered classic which made it into the brand it is today and became synonymous with its chic looks.
Mini said: “Celebrating its rich heritage yet iconic design, the new Mini Cooper offers a major step forward in technology, while focusing on a driver centric interior cabin.”
Stefanie Wurst, Head of Mini added: “With its electric drive and purist design, the new Mini Cooper is a perfect fit for an urban lifestyle. In the fifth generation of the Mini Cooper, we combine the traditional MINI DNA with innovative, future-oriented technology while enabling locally emission-free driving fun that is typical of MINI.”
The new Mini Cooper Electric is priced from £30,000 OTR and available in two output levels – E and SE – and three exceptionally well specified trim levels in the UK – Classic, Exclusive and Sport. First customer deliveries are expected to start taking place in spring 2024.
As we reported in May, the popularity of the fourth-generation Mini Cooper Electric has not only compelled the company to introduce not one, but two models, but also fast-track the deliveries by a year, as the earlier expected date for the car to start hitting the road was 2025.
It’ll also come equipped with the Mini Operating System 9 and the redesigned sounds, as the company, while heading in the all-electric direction, also heads towards a digital and tech-forward future. And if you’re wondering, it will have the “Hey Mini” feature as well!
With a completely new powertrain, the new Cooper E hosts a high-voltage battery with 40.7 kWh of capacity which provides up to 190 miles of electric range according to the WLTP test cycle. A 135 kW electric motor generates a torque of 290 Nm and accelerates the vehicle from 0 to 62mph in 7.3 seconds.
The Cooper SE, with an output of 160kW on the other hand, sprints from 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds with a maximum torque of 330 Nm, with the calculated range increasing to a maximum of 250 miles thanks to a battery capacity of 54.2 kWh.
The Mini Cooper can be charged via three ways; 11 kW AC charging, 75 kW DC charging and 95 kW DC charging, meaning at a fast-charging station, the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in under 30 minutes. By using the Mini Navigation, the vehicle will ensure the high-voltage battery reaches the ideal temperature for efficient charging in advance, thus reducing charging time.
A petrol-powered Mini Cooper (yet to be revealed) will continue to be manufactured in Oxford, UK, but the electric versions will be built in China, using a platform designed in collaboration between Mini, BMW and Chinese SUV brand Great Wall.
Bigger, better, and electric: Meet the new Countryman
Not only is Mini making its ambitions clear with the Cooper, but the Countryman is as big of a statement about its go-green intention (Sorry, no pun intended).
The Mini Countryman, for the first time, is offered with choice of a fully electric powertrain. Now in it’s third generation, the largest member of the Mini family has grown in size, gaining six centimetres in height and 13 centimetres in length.
Stefanie Wurst, Head of Mini said about the SUV: “With the all-electric Mini Countryman, the largest model in the new MINI vehicle family takes the brand into an era of locally emission-free electric mobility.
“The first Mini to be manufactured in Germany also offers the highest possible level of environmental compatibility in production. Its versatility and powerful electric drive make it the perfect companion in the city as well as for adventures beyond.”
Mini says that the Countryman “offers the versatility of a compact crossover while maintaining iconic Mini proportions: short overhangs, a short bonnet, and a contrasting long wheelbase, while larger wheels, wider wheel arches and the removal of chrome details add to the vehicles road presence”.
“This contemporary exterior design is supported by clear-cut surfaces, a slightly curved roof, and a newly designed C-pillar, making the vehicle appear shorter,” added the company.
The Countryman will be equipped with more or less the same techno-wizardry as the Cooper (and yes that large dial in the middle — feel how you will about it), but it’s under the hood where things get different. The electric SUV features a completely new powertrain and is available in two variants: Countryman E and Countryman SE ALL4 with an increased power output, two electric motors and all-wheel drive.
The Countryman E hosts a high-voltage battery with 64.7 kWh capacity, which provides up to 287 miles of electric range according to the WLTP test cycle. A 150 kW/204 hp electric motor generates a torque of 250 Nm, propelling the vehicle from 0 – 62mph in 8.6 seconds, continuing to a top speed of 105mph.
With an output of 230 kW/313 hp, the electric motor in the Mini Countryman SE ALL4 achieve a combined torque of 494 Nm, accelerating the vehicle from 0 to 62mph in 5.6 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 111mph. Equipped with the same battery as the Countryman E, the electric range is 269 miles.
It is priced from £28,500 RRP, with first deliveries taking place in February 2024, a couple of months before the Cooper. Once again, it will have the same three trims for the UK market as the Cooper: Classic, Exclusive and Sport.
And for the first time, the Mini Countryman offers semi-automated driving at speeds of up to 37mph. Up to this speed, the driver can take their hands off the steering wheel, providing keep their eyes on the road and are actively ready to steer and brake at all times.