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06/17/2019 @ 2:24 AM

Mini Cooper’s 2020 S E version has been hyped up in the car industry for the last few months, and with each successive bit of information we’ve all become more and more excited to see how it’ll actually perform. As one of Mini’s first proper forays into the electric car hot hatch market, there’s an entire world out there waiting to see just what it’ll provide, what in what areas it might let some of us down.

While it’s difficult to say for certain just how it’s going to be received, given that Mini are famous for keeping their future car models under tight wraps (even going as far as to drive around in it using camouflage to keep how it looks a secret) there are definitely certain characteristics we know about which we’re able to discuss.

The Italian Flavor Of Cool

Assorted souvenir t-shirts from Italy.

Mini are one of the world’s leading car manufacturers when it comes to the hot hatchback market. Their cars are known for being affordable, reliable, and effortlessly chic. Ever since The Italian Job first made Mini Coopers the worldwide standard in affordable cool, they’ve sold well in every single year and show no signs of slowing down on their impressive sales figures anytime in the near future. Good news for Mini, great news for us—bad news all around for their competition.

Electric cars have become increasingly popular as well as present in the mainstream media consciousness, owing to the continuing avalanche of information about the state of the climate we’re fast becoming in danger of drowning in. There’s no two ways about it—we are going to have to drastically change the way our society is currently structured in order to adapt to the increasing demands we’re making on our planet’s natural resources.

One of the most detrimental facets of modern life—by far—to the environment is the automobile industry. While we all love cars, and have loved them for many years, more and more companies are turning towards electric vehicles in order to try and solve the problems that have been stacking up right before our very eyes.

How Electric Will It Be?

Bright lights symbolizing electricity.

While not all electric cars are fully electric (there are in fact a wide range of vehicle types which are typically classed under the catch-all term ‘electric,’ including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, plug-in hybrids with range extenders, and properly electric cars with no internal combustion engine anywhere in sight), the Mini Cooper 2020 S E promises to be exactly that.

In the following article we’re going to do our best to dig through all of the rumour and scuttlebutt and present you with as much factual information as we possibly can. We know you’re probably sick of all the vague pieces that have been written on the internet about exactly this make of car. We are too. To tell the truth, it’s almost overwhelming just how much people have been writing about the Mini Cooper 2020 S E.

With these things in mind, we’re going to dive straight into the article and tell you the entire Mini Cooper 2020 S E story. Here’s what to expect from this exciting new venture into the future landscape of the car industry.

Size Matters

What makes the entire saga particularly thrilling is the fact that Mini Coopers are so small to begin with. This is an interesting point because unlike a lot of its competitors, it’s difficult to imagine the Mini Cooper slipping seamlessly into an electric model without any major cosmetic changes.

And major cosmetic changes could spell disaster for the make, which is after all so dependent on the classic look we’ve all come to associate with it to drive its sales.

Styling Decisions

A toy car version of a Mini Cooper.

Some car manufacturers have gone all-out on the futuristic side of things. They’ve associated the coming change in vehicle technology with high-tech, far-out styling, and they may well be right to do so.

Mini, on the other hand, appear to understand instinctively that there’s a gap in the emerging market for electric cars which remain faithful to the retro look of cars we’ve been used to for so long. Bearing that in mind, are they going to be successful? Or is this a misjudged gambit by the company?

From The Front

It’s difficult to say for sure. Recently, however, the first spy photographs of the Mini Cooper S E sans camp have been released, and we can say for sure that there are a few notable changes.

While it generally looks the same, the grille at the front end of the car has been completely filled in, which is a serious departure from the classic styling of the Mini Cooper, and could even be seen as a surprise concession to the growing trend of grille-heavy automobiles. The round headlights are just the same, however (and thank goodness for that), as are the fog lamps.

From The Side

Seen from the side, it also looks pretty much the same as the Mini Cooper look we’ve come to expect. While there are some steps that have clearly been taken to make it look just a little more futuristic, none of them are seismic enough to upset the whole flow of the car. The wheels look dangerously and asymmetrically cool, though, if the photographs we’ve seen are any representation of how the car really is going to look.

Given that the door handle and window sills have both been finished in chrome, the immediate impression is of a Mini Cooper which is somewhat new-age—exactly what the company would have been aiming for. It’s also exactly what their customers would have wanted.

From Behind

The rear looks exactly the same, except for the fact that there’s no exhaust pipe, a surefire indication that this new model is a truly electric vehicle in that it doesn’t use an internal combustion engine in any capacity whatsoever.

There’s more chrome to be found around the taillights, and although there has been a black spoiler added to the back end of the roof, it’s not a drastic enough change to do any real damage to the car’s overall visage.

From Inside

We’re regrettably unable to comment on the interior, since Mini hasn’t released any official photographs and the spy shots haven’t been able to see through the tinted windows, but there’s no reason to think it’ll look all that different from the standard Mini Cooper S.

After all, the main way electric cars differ from classical models, visually speaking, is on the outside; and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Mini are sticking to their traditional roots as much as possible, which is a design decision that will no doubt extent all the way to their interior.

How Powerful Will It Be?

Moving on to power, all the talk around town suggests that Mini is going to make use of BMW’s i3 drivetrain. This has been guessed because of the fact that the cars are so similar, both in terms of size, the fact that they’re run on electricity, and power potential, and also because Mini have a history of making use of BMW powertrains, just like they did with the Cooper S.

Going off of that educated guess, we can surmise that the Mini Cooper S E is going to boast around 170 horsepower as well as 184 lb-feet of torque, powered by a 42 kWh battery pack.

One important distinction to consider regarding the drivetrain is the fact that while the BMW i3 is rear-wheel drive, the photographic evidence we have of the 2020 Mini Cooper S E suggests that it’s going to be front-wheel drive, so it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, changes that inspires in the car’s overall design.

The vehicle can go approximately 150 miles on a single charge, but that figure is also going to depend on the overall weight of the car, as well as what, if any, engineering changes have been made, so don’t quote us on that one. We’re just going to have to wait and see.

Predicted Price Point

Of course, one of the most important factors to consider in any make of car, whether it’s a new-fangled electric model or one of the classically powered, internal combustion engine vehicles, is the price. Again, there’s been nothing but radio silence from Mini on this front, but going off of the fact that it’s probably going to be a competitor of the BMW i3, we’re expecting it to fall somewhere in the $35,000 – $45,000 range for the starter model, with more expense being added on as the consumer moves on up the list of additional extras.

Competition

It’s hard to tell how it’ll fare in the overall electric hot hatch market, part of which summation has to do with the fact that that particular market simply doesn’t exist yet in substantial enough figures to make any kind of prediction. We can say that it’s unlikely to challenge the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3 in terms of technology, given that each of those models have been through a few iterations already, but who knows?

With Mini, a surprise is never far from coming right around the next corner, and there’s no reason to think they might not pull a battery-powered rabbit out of 2020’s hat and come up with something incredible.

What We Love About It

The single biggest thing we’re excited about with regards to the 2020 Mini Cooper S E is the styling, it has to be said. An awful lot of people were very concerned that the company might be ditching its retro design preference in order to conquer the growing, futuristic market, but according to all the evidence we currently have available at our disposal, there’s no reason to think that’s the case.

Punters who have been looking forward to a rethought Mini Cooper look may well be left disappointed, but there are plenty of other electric hot hatches whose styling is futuristic and new-age, and we’re personally delighted that the company has stuck to the roots which made the Mini Cooper such an iconic vehicle in the first place.

The Last Word

In conclusion, the main things the 2020 Mini Cooper S E have going for it are the design choices, which add a touch of class with the use of chrome without overdoing it, and the fact that the competition is styled so differently that this offering from Mini may well stand in a category of its own.

We’re regrettably unable to provide hard-and-fast information about the interior or the price, but we’d rather tell you straight than pretend we have access to some insider data when we simply don’t. It will be interesting to see to what degree this model can even compete with the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3—given that they’ve had so much more time on the market to gauge what customers want—but we can’t wait to see how that particular battle plays out.

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