It's shaping up to be a major success.
A few months ago, we learned that Mini had amassed some 90,000 prospective buyers for its first-ever EV, the 2020 Mini Cooper SE. But interest is one thing; turning those prospective buyers into actual paying customers is something else, and it's up to the automaker and dealerships to make that happen.
Fortunately for Mini's parent company, BMW, the combined efforts have apparently paid off. During this past week's presentation by BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse, it was announced there have so far been more than 8,000 orders placed worldwide.
"We are winning over customers with attractive new models," Zipse said. "The new Mini Cooper SE was just released a few days ago. We have already received more than 8,000 orders. Most of the people who placed these orders did not previously drive a Mini. This shows that the Mini Electric has captured the spirit of the times and is perfect for urban areas."
Packing the same motor used in the BMW i3, the Mini Cooper SE has a total of 184 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque from its electric motor. Thanks in part to the battery packaging, the hatchback also has a 50-50 weight distribution. Performance is also similar to that of the i3, with 0-60 mph clocked at 6.9 seconds. The i3 does the same sprint in 6.8 seconds. Top speed is also similar at 93 mph and 98 mph for the Mini and i3, respectively.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the two products is the battery pack itself. Instead of the i3's 120Ah pack, the Cooper SE has a 94Ah unit specifically modified into a T-shape to accommodate the hatch's layout. But here's where some buyers might be deterred: range. The EPA has rated the Cooper SE at 110 miles on a single charge while the i3 has a 153-mile range. The Mini's range also pales in comparison to that of the base Tesla Model 3 (250 miles), Nissan Leaf (151 miles), and Chevy Bolt (259 miles).
The 2020 Mini Cooper SE has a starting MSRP of $29,900, not including $850 destination.