Or do EV buyers simply demand more?
With so many brands starting to offer electric vehicles, it seemed like a no-brainer for Mini to introduce an EV of its own. Mini's cutesy design language is a match made in heaven for an electric drivetrain and its cars' small stature is conducive to longer range. So when the company finally revealed its all-new electric model, the Cooper SE, many people were surprised to see it only boasted a range of 114 miles on a charge.
The Tesla Model 3 offers over 300 miles of range and even the more affordable Chevrolet Bolt now offers over 250 miles of range. Mini says the shorter battery life was to keep the Cooper SE's price down and since it was designed mostly for city use, the range isn't the most important factor when shopping for one.
So instead of focusing on giving the SE a longer range, Mini has focused on making it fun to drive. No one has had a chance to drive the Cooper SE yet but we suspect the BMW i3-sourced electric motor producing 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque should yield an enjoyable driving experience. Mini says the SE will hit 60 mph in a respectable 7.3 seconds but the more interesting statistic is the 0-30 mph, which is rated at just 3.9 seconds. The Cooper SE will be a stoplight-to-stoplight champion, making it the perfect car to dash through a busy city.
If you weren't a fan of the quirky wheels and bright green accents first shown on the SE, Mini also displayed a more subtle blue model with more traditional wheels and only trace amounts of bright green accenting. Mini Coopers are supposed to look quite wild, so we don't mind the wheels and the accents, though we can't blame anyone for preferring the more reserved blue model seen at Frankfurt.
US pricing and availability for the Cooper SE have yet to be announced but we expect it to start around $30,000 plus whatever tax credits are available at the time.