BMW's Mini brand says it will launch the Cooper SE -- its first-ever all-electric model -- in Canada come spring 2020.
The Cooper SE will be Mini's second electrified model, following on the Cooper S E Countryman, a plug-in hybrid version of the brand's subcompact crossover model. Instead of the PHEV Countryman's gas-electric powertrain, the Mini Cooper SE gets an electric motor boasting 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque and fed by a T-shaped 32.6 kWh lithium ion battery that lives under the car's floor.
Mini says its electric drivetrain promises as much as 270 km of driving range (according to often-optimistic European driving cycle estimates) and that a jaunt from zero-100 km/h will take 7.3 seconds. That splits the difference between the times set by the gas-powered three-cylinder Cooper and four-cylinder Cooper S, which do the 100-km/h sprint in 7.8 and 6.8 seconds respectively, when equipped with the optional automatic transmission.
Mini says the forthcoming Cooper SE weighs 145 kg more than the three-door gasoline Cooper S. If the extra mass slows the car down some, Mini says the battery's position lowers the car's centre of gravity by 30 mm and claims handling that is "unique within the small car segment."
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The Mini Cooper SE offers one-pedal driving and is the first BMW Group EV with driver-selectable regenerative braking to adjust how aggressively the regeneration system slows the car during coasting.
Inside, Mini says the Cooper SE gets a digital driver information display and gear selector that will be unique among Cooper models. A two-zone climate control system collects heat from the drive motor and battery to help warm the interior, a heat pump arrangement Mini says uses 75 percent less energy than a traditional electric heating system. The car can also be set to warm or cool the cabin before driving away.
Charging capacity maxes out at 50 kW, at which level the car will take on 80 percent battery capacity in 35 minutes. That time goes up to 2.5 hours when connected to a more common 240-volt charger.
Today's press release is specific to the European model, but we suspect the driving range estimate is the only statistic likely to be significantly different when the car arrives here next year. Mini says it will release specifics like pricing and standard features for the Canadian market closer to its arrival here next spring.