New 2024 MINI Cooper EV unveiled with up to 250 miles of range
The iconic British supermini will also be available with petrol power; all cars get latest infotainment with prices starting from £30k
MINI has reinvented its iconic hatch for its fifth generation, with the new car set to offer both full-electric and petrol powertrains. MINI's new model has made its debut at the 2023 IAA Munich Motor Show, with the British brand unveiling the design and tech specs of the car – including a brand-new infotainment system that elevates the car's connectivity to the next level.
While a petrol version will be available in time – sharing its dimensions but not its platform with the Cooper EV models – the new electric MINI will be offered in two forms: Cooper Electric E and Cooper Electric SE.
The former features a 40.7kWh battery and sends its energy to a single electric motor offering 181bhp and 290Nm of torque, with a claimed range of up to 190 miles. The latter model increases the battery capacity to 54.2kWh while power and torque rise to 215bhp and 330Nm respectively for a 6.7-second 0-62mph time, six tenths of a second faster than its sibling. The Cooper Electric SE offers up to 250 miles of range, according to MINI. The E and SE pairings can be charged at 75 and 95kW respectively, meaning a 10 to 80 per cent recharge takes 30 minutes.
The new car will only be available as a three-door, with the forthcoming production version of MINI's Aceman concept set to occupy the space in the brand's line-up previously accounted for by the MINI five-door.
The latest Cooper's design has been based around what head of MINI design Oliver Heilmer calls “Charismatic simplicity”.
“Inspired by our history, we have developed our own new design language, defining our DNA,” he told Auto Express, adding that the new car's appearance is “characterised by a clear, reduced design language intuitively focused on the essentials of the brand.”
MINI has removed chrome for a smarter, more minimalist look, while the EV's (larger) wheels have been pushed out towards the extremities of the body, improving packaging and space inside. At the front there's a new octagonal grille and MINI's trademark circular headlights, which are offered with three different LED running light signatures.
There's more customisable lighting at the rear, with the tail lights able to be customised, showing the familiar Union Flag signature, or a choice of other modes. They're joined by a strip on the tailgate, with all lighting featuring a welcome and a goodbye animation.
Adjusting the car's proportions has freed up more space inside – although having sat in the rear of the new MINI Cooper ahead of the car's unveiling, the rear seats are still tight. Boot space is up to 200 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to a maximum of 800 litres with the rear back rests folded down.
Along with the exterior, the interior has been treated to a big design overhaul. Like every MINI since the brand’s rebirth in 2001, the centrepiece of the new car's cabin is still a large round display – once a speedo, and now an ultra-slim OLED screen measuring 9.4 inches in diameter. All models will feature this nerve centre of the car's cabin – called the MINI Interaction Unit – displaying speed, media, EV data on the state of charge and range available, plus all the customisation options – and there are plenty built in.
MINI's 2024 offering runs a new OS9 operating system (based on Android software), with owners able to select different themes from the menus which change the look and feel of the screen and interior lighting.
These MINI Experience Modes include Core, Green, Go-Kart, Personal, Vibrant, Timeless and Balance modes. Timeless, for example, gives a digital depiction of a classic Mini speedo on the central screen, while Personal allows users to upload a background photo of their choice; the system will then detect the main colour from those that feature in the picture and extend this across the screen to better tie in the image.
Each Experience mode offers a corresponding soundtrack, with Core offering a sound that's audible inside and outside the car to help warn pedestrians. Go-Kart (think Sport) offers a “pronounced pitch and fall”, while the Balance soundscape “is based on the noises heard in a forest at different times of the day and night – from the rippling of a stream and the chirping of crickets to the rustling of the wind in the treetops.”
The car's LED ambient lighting is also linked to these settings, with patterns shown on the fabric panel inserts and dash top, as well as around the central concealed air vent. The colour and pattern these LEDs shine onto the panels changes depending on mode, with Go-Kart mode showing a sportier design.
The cloud-based sat-nav's map can be displayed in the centre of the Interaction Unit, while the edges of the Apple CarPlay projection are sampled so that iOS users see the software across the entire area of the screen. Android Auto capability is also included, but due to certain factors to do with Google, this only displays in a rectangular box on the circular screen.
Opt for the MINI's native nav set-up and users can benefit from a “charge-optimised” routing function, while other tech includes an optional 3D head-up display.
Optional high-speed 5G data connectivity and MINI's MyMINI app means the new Cooper is the brand's most connected car ever – and this extends to MINI's new “Hey MINI!” personal assistant, with owners also able to choose Spike, a digital depiction of a dog, as their avatar of choice.
Three trim levels will be offered: Classic, Exclusive and Sport. Classic features a knitted textile interior, with black synthetic leather sports seats, amongst other items. Exclusive gets a two-tone houndstooth pattern for its knitted textile trim on the dash panel, perforated trim for its sports seats and the option of what MINI calls a “Spray-Tech” roof, which blends three different colours. Finally, Sport trim delivers the raciest look and feel, with multi-coloured knitted textiles, black synthetic leather seats with contrast red stitching and more gloss black for the car's grille and logos. A contrasting roof and bonnet stripes can be added.
Basic equipment specs the same for the three trim levels, with more driver assistance and safety tech also on offer for this new car, including MINI's Park Assistant Plus, Digital Key Plus (which allows users to unlock their car with their smartphone) and Remote 360 surround-view monitoring system via the MyMINI app all available.
Prices start from £30,000 for the MINI Cooper Electric E, rising to £34,500 for the Cooper Electric SE, with deliveries set to begin in spring 2024.
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