The current-generation electric Mini Cooper SE
The new Mini Cooper hasn’t been officially revealed just yet, but a number of British automotive journalists were invited to a preview event where they got an early look at the redesigned Cooper. The car itself was covered in camouflage, and, well, looks about like you’d expect the next-generation Mini to look. What’s more interesting, though, are the details that Mini executives shared at the event.
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As Autocar reports, the gas-powered Mini Cooper will live on, but Mini hopes the electric version will be a lot more popular than it currently is. By the middle of 2025, the goal is for the EV version to account for half of all Cooper sales, up from 15 percent now. One way Mini plans to get there is by giving the EV a much more useable range.
The base model will get a 40 kWh battery, while the Cooper SE will get a 54 kWh battery. Range is said to start at 240 miles, which is significantly more than the 100-ish miles you get with the current Mini Cooper EV. That said, if they’re using the European test cycle to get that 240-mile range, it’s likely that the EPA estimated range will be closer to 200 miles. Even so, that would make it a much more useable car, especially in dense urban areas.
As far as power goes, the base model will reportedly make 181 hp, while the Cooper SE with the larger battery pack will make 215 hp. If that’s not enough for you, there will also reportedly be a John Cooper Works version that makes 250 hp. That won’t make it the quickest EV in the world, but it should match up nicely against the Fiat 500e Abarth that was recently announced.
Inside, there’s more good news. Autocar reports that the cabin will continue Mini’s retro aesthetic and include plenty of buttons and knobs instead of going all-in on touchscreens. Interestingly, even the electric Cooper will reportedly get a physical key, and there won’t be a driver display behind the steering wheel. Instead, there will be a center-mounted circular screen to display all the relevant information.
There’s also bad news for anyone still interested in the gas-powered Mini Cooper. The British automaker reportedly said it’s “99 percent sure” that it won’t offer a manual transmission, instead going with an eight-speed automatic across the board. That’s certainly disappointing from an enthusiast’s perspective, but something tells us the lack of a stick shift won’t impact the new Mini’s sales too badly.
As far as pricing goes, Mini hasn’t said much other than that the new Cooper will be more expensive than it is now. That’s not ideal, but it’ll probably be worth the tradeoff considering it will also offer significantly more range.
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