Mini’s first electric car will be the first electric hot hatch of the industry. The British maker of compact performance cars has promised it will showcase the production version in 2019.
The company will name the new EV as Cooper S E when it is unveiled later this year to reflect its performance credentials within the Mini range. The Cooper S E will be based on the Mini three-door hatchback. The car’s UKL1 platform was not designed to accommodate an electric drivetrain, but is modular and scalable enough to make space for the same.
Test mules of the Mini Cooper S E have alreaddy been spied juicing up their batteries during test runs.
Logically thinking, the electric Mini could benefit most from the BMW i3 S’s 181hp motor. The conventional Cooper S makes use of a 2.0-litre inline-four petrol engine that is good for 189hp. One would argue that the petrol Mini still has the advantage, what with the electric car’s already lower power output and the extra weight of the batteries it will be saddled with.
However, electric motors do not have a peak torque range. You get all the torque at any point of throttle. Additionally, there are no gears to transmit the power and torque to the wheels, meaning the electric Cooper S E can actually claim to be an equal in the performance parameters.
Mini is not focussing on maximizing the driving range of the Cooper S E. The company in fact wants the driver to have fun driving this lithe hatchback and not sit about trying to extract a couple more miles from the batteries. That being said, we can expect a range of at least 300km from the Cooper S E.
The Mini Electric Concept of 2017 laid bare the company's plans to build an electric hot hatch.
Mini will reveal the electric Cooper during its 60th anniversary celebrations. The timing is spot-on: Mini considers this anniversary as the perfect time to launch such a futuristic car and believes electric models are ideally suited to the brand’s image. The firm previewed the new electric hatch with the 2017 Mini Electric concept. The production model will take its design cues from the Cooper S rather than the concept. Expect a price tag of around AED 150,000 when Mini rolls the hot EV out some time in 2020.
Featured Image Credit: Autocar