The all-new Mini hatchback has arrived, and taking the lead from BMW, it’s the electric version we’re seeing first. But don’t panic - combustion models are still very much on the agenda and will arrive at a later date and on a different platform.
The Mini hatch’s styling has been pretty evolutionary between generations thus far, but this one’s arguably a much bigger departure. It’s a more angular design with far more creases than we’re used to seeing on a Mini, but the overall shape is a familiar one. The instantly recognisable round headlamps are present and correct, too, but with a party trick - they have three different light signatures the driver can pick from.
Inside, there’s - a bit like a Tesla Model 3 - a lack of instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. Unless you’ve specced the optional head-up display, you’ll need to glance over at the round, centrally-mounted screen to see how fast you’re going. The lower part of the display is used for climate functions, resulting in a very minimalist dashboard.
The new Mini Electric is available in two different forms. The base Mini Cooper Electric E develops 181bhp, making for a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 99mph. It’s fitted with a 40.7kWh battery, providing a 190-mile range.
Want more pace and range? The Mini Cooper Electric SE is good for 215bhp, giving a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 106mph. It gets a bigger battery than the E at 54.2kWh, so despite the extra poke, it’ll go a lot further on a full charge - 250 miles, according to the official numbers.
The charging time remains the same for both versions at 30 minutes for a 10 to 80 per cent top-up, as the SE gets a slightly higher maximum rate to compensate for its larger-capacity battery. It manages 95kW to the E’s 75.
The derivatives do share the same single, front-mounted electric motor layout, as per the outgoing Mini Electric. What has changed is the suspension setup, which features wider tracks front and rear. The wheelbase is longer, too, meaning the new car should feel pretty different to drive.
Like it? You’ll need to part with £30,000 for the E, or £34,500 for the SE. First deliveries will begin in spring 2024.