2020 Mini Electric revealed – everything you need to know | What Car?

This is the all-new, all-electric Mini hatchback,
featuring a high-tech interior, a 144-mile range and an eye-catching price. It’s due
to arrive in the UK in March next year – and this is everything you need to know about
it. Before we get started, make sure you subscribe
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Head to the New Car Buying section on whatcar.com to find out how much you could save online,
straight away, without the need for any haggling. You can trace the development of this electric
Mini all the way back to 2009, when a very small fleet of electric Minis were trialled
across selected areas of the UK and a few other countries. The Mini E helped BMW gather information on
people’s EV driving habits and needs, and after a lengthy gap, the Mini Electric concept
car was revealed in 2017. Now, we’ve finally got full details on the
production version of that car. You can see that the styling has been toned down from
the concept car and, well, it looks like a three-door Mini doesn’t it. The stand-out change at the front is the grille,
which is a blanked-out grey and yellow design that adds 17mm to the length of the car as
a result of pedestrian safety regulations. The brighter hue, which is dubbed Energetic
Yellow, is optional and can be added to the grille, door mirror caps and wheels. Also new is a very slightly different front
bumper design with a splitter element, while the rear bumper is different because it no
longer needs to accommodate an exhaust. The distinctive wheels have been designed
to look like a British plug socket – but don’t worry, if that isn’t your thing then a variety
of more conventional designs are also available. The charging ports are located where the fuel
filler cap would otherwise be. The Mini Electric also sits 15mm higher than
the combustion-engined model to allow clearance for the battery pack. Designers have extended
the plastic wheel arch cladding to compensate for that. But which electric car would you buy? The
Mini Electric, Honda E, Tesla Model 3, or Renault Zoe – let us know by voting in our
poll. Inside, the changes are similarly subtle.
A new digital dial display is available for the first time on a Mini. It displays the
car’s speed, range, power reserve and charging status – but the displays aren’t configurable.
The rest of the Mini lineup will receive this tech next year. There’s also an electric handbrake for the
first time in a three-door Mini, but the only other differences are a new toggle switch
for the multi-level brake regeneration system and yellow cabin detailing. Speaking of which, the Mini Electric is based
on the old BMW i3, and uses that car’s 33kWh battery pack and 181bhp electric motor. The
i3 sends its power to the rear wheels, but the Mini Electric is front-wheel drive only.
On the WLTP test cycle it managed 144 miles between charges – more than the upcoming Honda
E, which can cover 125 miles, but less than the new Vauxhall Corsa-e, which promises 211
miles. The Mini Electric will do a 0-62mph sprint
in 7.3sec, and its top speed is limited to 92mph. Charging from 0-80% takes 35 minutes
using the sort of public charger you’ll find at a motorway service station, or 2 and a half hours from a wall box. But if you’re feeling a bit underwhelmed
by the look of the Mini Electric, the manufacturer claims the design changes are deliberately
undramatic – partly to keep traditional Mini customers on side, but also to help keep the
cost down. Which brings us to the car’s main headline
news: its price. It starts from £24,400 including the UK governments plug-in grant
of £3500 – which is less than an equivalent level petrol Cooper S. It’s also substantially
less than the Honda E which is set to be priced around £30,000, and is competitive against
the Renault Zoe – our current favourite electric car for under £30,000. The Mini Electric will be available in three
different trims – all yet to be named – with sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, LED lights
and cruise control as standard. The Mini Electric will make its public debut
at the Frankfurt motor show in September, with production commending in November at
Mini’s Oxford plant. Volume-selling EV markets like China and the US will be prioritised
for deliveries, so you can expect the Mini Electric on UK roads in March 2020. Please make sure you’re subscribed to our
channel – because we have many more new videos coming up and you can make sure they are all
delivered to your YouTube feed. And for a great deal on your next new car, go to the
New Car Buying section on whatcar.com

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