MINI is struggling in North America, and that could force it to sell only electric cars in the region.
Like Daimler’s smart division, BMW’s city car brand is considering going electric-only as one of several possible solutions to improve sales, with MINI CEO Peter Schwarzenbauer revealing to that his team is looking at pushing it “in the direction of the electric mobility company”
Schwarzenbauer believes that adding more SUVs — the proven fix to any sales slump — is not the way to go due to the brand’s image as a small car company.
The company has been in talks with several world automakers on how to electrify smaller cars, including Great Wall Motor. The Chinese automaker has confirmed that it was discussing a partnership with BMW to produce MINI electric vehicles in China.
It will be interesting to see how well Smart’s model will work for Mini. Going electric has so far not provided the “jolt” Smart was hoping for, with buyers expressing little excitement and nearly two-thirds of its American dealer network closing shop after the shift to EVs was announced.
Either way, MINI has already has an electric car on the way for 2019.
Electric MINI Cooper SE Has Received 45K Pre-Orders
It isn’t Tesla Model 3 numbers, but Mini isn’t complaining.
The all-electric MINI Cooper SE has received 45,000 pre-orders just one month after its official reveal.
Elena Eder, a BMW project manager, broke the news to Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, stating “So far, we already have over 45,000 registered prospects.”
That pales in comparison to the over 400,000 pre-orders the Tesla Model 3 received shortly after its reveal, but it’s more than the approximately 20,000-30,000 Volkswagen ID.3 pre-orders to date, although that’s probably because the ID.3 has yet to be revealed.
The Cooper SE’s electric motor packs 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque, which gets it up to 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 7.9 seconds and to a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). A 32.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides a driving range of between 146 to 168 miles (235-270 km) on Europe’s new WLTP test cycle, but only 114 miles (183 km) on the stricter US’ tests.
MINI Rocketman Concept Is Being Developed
The model will be developed and built in China by Great Wall and sold around the world.
Not long after unveiling its first all-electric, the Cooper SE, MINI might already be working on its second electric vehicle.
According to senior source at BMW that , the British automaker has approved the Rocketman concept for production. The new model will be built in China as part of a partnership between BMW and Great Wall Motors and should arrive by 2022.
“We’re advancing plans for a model along the lines of the Rocketman,” the source stated. “It’s a car we have been looking at for a long time, but to build it profitably at the price point we think customers are prepared to pay, you need a joint venture partner to share costs. Great Wall Motors has provided that opportunity with a shared electric car platform that will be used by Mini”
Although production will take place in China, MINI’s new electric car will be sold worldwide. Autocar speculates it will be a variation of the Ora R1, an electric car that’s cheaper than any new car sold in North America.
The cute little Ora R1 (pictured immediately above) looks like a Honda E and Smart ForFour hybrid. It is powered by an electric drivetrain that consists of an 30.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor rated at 47 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque, though buyers have the option of a bigger, 33-kilowatt-hour pack.
Mini hasn’t made anything official, but if the report is accurate, expect a vehicle that looks little like the Rocketman.
Mini Cooper SE Is Mini’s First All-Electric Car
The SE provides a modest range of up to 168 miles in Europe, and generous instant torque should make it a real hoot to drive around town.
After months of teasing, MINI has finally unveiled its first-ever all-electric car, the Cooper SE.
The company’s EV is essentially a Mini Cooper S with an electric drivetrain — more specifically, the same technology used by the BMW i3 — that lets it drive 235 to 270 kilometers (146 to 168 miles) based on Europe’s WLTP and NEDC test cycles. It will reportedly have an EPA-certified driving range of 183 km (114 miles) in the U.S., a figure that will not make it a direct competitor with the Tesla Model 3 and other 200+ mile electric vehicles.
A 32.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack energizes an electric motor that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque, allowing the Cooper Electric to zoom from 0 96 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).
The production car seems to stay close to the concept that debuted back in 2017, featuring bright yellow accents and optional asymmetrical Corona Spoke two-tone 17-inch wheels. The interior features unique display and control elements.
According to MINI, the MINI Electric maintains the brand’s characteristic “go-kart feeling.” It weighs just 319 pounds more than the regular Cooper S two-door hardtop despite the added heft of the battery and has a 30 mm lower center of gravity thanks to the floor-mounted battery.
Are you happy with how it turned out?