The next electric Mini will come with much bigger battery options, more power, and a refreshed design when it hits the road in 2024.
The car will have two battery options, 40kWh and 54kWh. These are significantly higher than the outgoing Mini‘s 32.6kWh battery.
While we don’t yet have official range estimates on the EPA cycle, it’s estimated that the battery options will offer 300 and 400km of range, respectively, on WLTP test cycles. But EPA numbers are always lower than WLTP, so these should work out to approximately ~145 and ~180 miles of range, respectively.
The smaller battery will keep the same 181hp/135kW motor as the current Cooper SE, and the upgraded 54kWh battery will get a power bump up to 215hp/160kW. In the future, Mini wants to offer a “John Cooper Works” model with even more power, as it has offered before on gas models – but this time the electric model will get a JCW version too. That upgrade should come in 2025.
Mini will still make a gas-powered model, but expects the electric car to make up 50% of sales by 2025, as compared to today’s 15%. Mini has stated before that it plans to go all-electric and stop selling any gas cars by 2030, with its last-ever gas model being introduced in 2025. So it’s going to need a high electric mix if it wants to keep on track for that goal.
While Mini declined to show the design of the refreshed Cooper, opting to keep it in yellow-and-back camouflage until its full reveal this fall, we’ve actually seen photos of it uncamouflaged before.
Back in December 2021, photos surfaced of a completely uncamouflaged Mini in China. The new Mini is being built in cooperation with Great Wall Motor, bearing fruit from an agreement made between BMW and Great Wall Motor in 2018.
Those photos showed significant exterior design changes, with the most drastic change being the taillights, and a larger rimless center screen.
And the uncamouflaged car was parked next to other cars – which look identical to the camouflaged car showed off today. So if you’re wondering what’s under that camouflage, well, just look back in time a couple years to see a pretty good idea of what might be there.
My entry into the EV universe was as one of the original “Mini E Pioneers,” who drove the 500 original Mini Es first released in 2009. So I have a particular attachment for this little car, which was a great experience at the time, and one I remember fondly (read more in my review of the outgoing Mini Cooper SE electric).
The outgoing Mini Cooper SE was a pretty good deal when it first came out, offering a fun driving experience for people who know how much car they needed and knew that the Mini would be enough for them. While it was panned by some for “not having enough range,” it was the cheapest EV available at the time, and as long as the car has enough range for you – and 114 miles is more than enough for many, many drivers – then that’s all that really matters.
But since then, we’ve seen other vehicles drop in price (like the current screaming deal on the Chevy Bolt) or increase in capabilities, and the Mini has not only kept the same specs, but also got a price hike, taking it over the $30k mark which it originally started just a hair under.
So this is a much-needed refresh to get the Mini closer in line with the current market. It’s fine if it still stays smaller than other EVs – Mini buyers are often looking for less car, that’s kind of the point of the brand and the name to begin with. And we do expect Mini to come in a little higher in price than similar offerings, since Mini has always considered itself as somewhat “premium” brand, and consumers do attach some value to the “fun” aspect of the brand.
But if Mini can still stay somewhat close to the lower end of the price spectrum, in the same ballpark as the upcoming Fiat 500e refresh and perhaps somewhere in at least an adjacent universe to the impossibly low-priced Chevy Bolt, then this will remain a fun option for those who ought to realize they don’t need a land-yacht (I’m talking to the vast majority of you, here).