Sir Alec Issigonis’ Mini was built because of the need for easy-on-the-pocket motoring. The first models trundled off the production line in the UK in 1959 - and six decades on, the moniker is still going great guns. Now, as humankind looks towards eco-friendlier transport, it seems likely that the MINI Electric (aka Cooper SE) will continue the model’s winning story.
This new electric hatchback is only available as a three-door model - and squares up to the likes of the Honda e and Peugeot e-208. Apart from wheels designed to look like a wall outlet and a few embossed logos, the standard car’s familiar looks have been kept. Momentum comes from a 184hp electric motor united with a 32.6kWh battery pack, and this delivers impressive performance. Well, the standstill to 62mph accomplishment of 7.3 seconds is notable, but the uppermost speed of 93mph is perhaps less remarkable.
The MINI’s interior design is unconventional – it’s one of those arrangements that you either love or loathe, so get yourself behind the wheel before you pull the trigger. You’ll perhaps be aware that BMW has been behind the “Britishness” of MINI for some time. Therefore, you get a “Minified” experience of what is, essentially, the German firm’s excellent operating software, which is no bad thing. After a little while using it, you feel entirely at ease thanks to mostly obvious controls and a well-laid out menu system. However, as with other BMW products, Apple CarPlay makes an appearance but Android Auto is conspicuous by its absence.
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