The power of electric
Did you know that MINI have sold over 10 million cars globally since the brand was launched in 1959?* Incredibly, half of those cars have been built since the brand was reborn in 2001.
Evidently, MINI's range of cars are immensely popular, especially in Britain where thousands of them roam the roads every day. This is no great surprise though, modern MINI models have captured the essence of the original cars, but wrapped it in a contemporary design alongside the latest technology.
That ethos of combining heritage with the present and future is where the MINI Electric comes in, which is the brand's first all-electric car. Some manufacturers have struggled to give their electric models character in recent years. Thankfully, MINI have not had these problems with the Electric, as we have highlighted below with five things we are sure you will love.
*figures from 2019
Every modern car has an infotainment system; some are brilliant and some could be better. The MINI Electric falls into the former category.
Retaining the large circular binnacle that previously housed the speedometer on older models, the infotainment system has taken its place. Visually, the system is beautifully integrated into the dashboard. The addition of ambient lighting around the binnacle gives the cabin a premium uplift.
The 8.8-inch screen itself looks stunning, and is complemented by fast responses when navigating the menus, which can be done via touch or through a central dial near the handbrake.
Through the system, you can control features such as the multimedia player, or you can even check important information such as the vehicle's servicing schedule. In addition, all cars come with the Navigation Pack, giving you access to an excellent satellite navigation system that will locate nearby charging stations if required.
Weirdly, there are very few electric vehicles (EVs) that offer what some would class as usable real-world performance.
Higher-end EVs offer ballistic power figures and can accelerate in truly breathtaking fashion, but they also have the price tag to match. Alternatively, there are lower-powered EVs that do not quite offer the same thrills for keen drivers.
The MINI Electric occupies a sweet spot by producing the equivalent of 181bhp from its 32.6kWh battery. As a result, the 0 to 62mph dash takes just 7.3 seconds and the top speed is 93mph.
Realistically, the 0 to 62mph time is largely irrelevant in real-world driving unless you are partial to a traffic light grand prix. However, the instant torque produced by the motor makes for effortless and swift overtaking.
With healthy performance figures on tap, the MINI Electric is perfectly-suited to Britain's congested roads, meaning you can still have plenty of fun.
MINI are renowned for creating cars that do not shy away when the going gets twisty. In fact, you may have seen the age old cliché that a MINI 'drives like a go-kart'. The Electric is no exception, and makes for great fun.
Part of the Electric's ability to tackle corners so well boils down to the low kerb weight of 1,440kg. The problem with EVs is that the batteries and motors are heavy, which blunts cornering ability. Keeping the Electric's weight low has paid dividends, meaning it feels just as fun as a regular MINI 3-door Hatchback.
The steering feels sharp and direct, as you would expect from a MINI. However, it is the Electric's talent for staying flat through corners that makes for a reassuring drive. Not only that, but the brakes feel strong, although it is worth noting that the regenerative braking does take some getting used to if you are transitioning from a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE).
MINI Connected App
Smartphone connectivity plays a huge part in the development of new cars these days. While the MINI Electric allows you to seamlessly pair your smartphone with the car and then stream your music, it is the MINI Connected app that really impresses.
When paired with your particular car, it acts as a personal assistant that gives you useful information when you are going about your regular day. For example, you may want to activate the climate control before you get in on a warm summer's day, or you may want to get alerts on when the best time to leave is.
In addition, the app can help you plan the route to your next destination. It can tell you where the nearest charging points are and even give you real-time traffic information so you do not get stuck in heavy congestion. All-in-all, the MINI Connected app makes life much easier.
EVs are well-known for their excellent levels of refinement, and the MINI Electric continues the theme. As a result, the Electric is uber-quiet when driving, with a minimal amount of road and wind noise present.
The absence of a traditional engine does not just remove the associated noise, either. It means there are no vibrations entering the cabin, which makes for a more comfortable driving experience on a daily basis.
Keen drivers may mourn the loss of a traditional engine, especially the ones found in the Cooper S models. But the Electric represents a different kind of driving experience, and is enhanced by a distinctive surging noise from the motors when you accelerate.
It may not be the sensation of driving you are used to, but the fun factor is still there alongside a quiet and refined ride that cars with traditional engines just cannot match.
Explore MINI Electric with Stratstone
There are certainly plenty of reasons to love the MINI Electric. The impressive thing about the Electric is that it does not feel drastically different to the regular 3-door Hatchback on which it is based; a trait that some modern EVs can struggle with.
It is immensely fun to drive, and makes for a genuine real-world alternative for those who do not have a long commute to work every day. In summary, if you are looking to transition to an electric vehicle, then the MINI Electric will feel just about seamless.