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Here's The New Mini Before You're Supposed To See It

Spy Shots / Comments

Say hello to the future of the Mini brand.

It was almost a year ago when we first spotted a camouflaged prototype of an electric Mini Cooper. Then, just last month, the Mini brand confirmed it would reveal an electric model that would go by the name Cooper S E. The 2020 Mini Cooper S E is expected to go on sale in the latter part of 2019 or during the early part of 2020, meaning its reveal is likely imminent. But before Mini got the chance to reveal the car properly, we got our first look at the car without any camouflage.

There is a reason why so many new car press photos are staged in a dark room or a rural setting - it's so people don't lay eyes on the car before they are supposed to. But since this photoshoot took place in an urban environment, it appears Mini was not able to keep it a secret.

The finished product looks astonishingly similar to the electric concept Mini showed off several years ago. Even the wheels look practically the same. To differentiate itself from a normal Cooper, the S E has a different front fascia with a closed off grille, since there is no need to cool an engine under the hood. There are also plenty of yellow accents and special badges that hint at its electric drivetrain. We assume Mini will also offer other accent colors because yellow would limit the viable options for other paint schemes to neutral colors (such as silver).

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The Cooper S E will likely share BMW i3's powertrain and 33.8-kWh battery pack but will utilize a front-wheel-drive layout rather than rear-wheel-drive. The range is expected to be between 110-115 miles, which will keep any Tesla owners from getting curious about switching brands. Mini hasn't announced a reveal date but since the initial concept was shown in Frankfurt, we wouldn't rule out a return to the show with the production version in September.