Electrifying style: the new all-electric MINI Cooper SE
It’s 1959, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum has just been completed in New York. The Barbie doll is making its debut on toyshop shelves, and London is just about to start ‘swinging’. The white heat of technology is starting to hot up: the first section of the M1 motorway from London to Birmingham has opened up, and an early iteration of the hovercraft begins testing off the south coast.
Enter the MINI, a dynamic synergy of desire and modernity, optimism and pop culture – the impending 1960s zeitgeist in adorable automobile form. Designed by Alec Issigonis, the affordable, truly classless and uniquely unisexual MINI would change not just the way people travelled but also the way they thought and behaved.
Thanks to the MINI’s ingenious inside-out design and innovative sideways engine mount that freed up space, at least four people and their Mary Quant handbags could be transported from Chelsea art-happening to Soho rave-up.
Both vehicle and lifestyle, the MINI handled like a go-kart and could be parked on a postage stamp. Its joyful innovation would define the youthful age and show its young owners that being behind the wheel could be something new and different called… fun.
Now, on the occasion of the MINI’s 60th birthday, petrol emotions morph into electric dreams. A new film short, shot on location in a still-swinging London, celebrates the classic MINI’s original spirit of urban mobility and takes a shortcut to a future with the introduction of the new MINI Cooper SE.
The first ever purely electrical model of the British brand remains a genuine MINI to its core; its vehicle concept, dimensions, design, space and interior ambience based on the conventionally powered vehicle MINI 3 Door. Around town, millennial motorists will discover that the electric car also matches its conventional sibling in terms of handling, ride and character. The Cooper SE combines sustainable mobility with expressive design and premium quality for a pure, emissions-free MINI feeling.
Six decades on, Alec Issigonis’ go-kart handling and zippy about-town performance are still at the core of the MINI experience. The MINI Cooper SE promises outstanding agility due via spontaneous power delivery, a low centre of gravity, front-wheel drive and wheel slip limiting close to the actuator. Acceleration is a bobby-dazzling zero to 60 km/h in 3.9 seconds and from zero to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The model-specific lithium-ion battery enables range of 235km to 270km and charges from a regular household socket.
Purists will be delighted to note that the powerful proportions of the 2003 modern classic, its three-part structure, body frame, all-round ‘greenhouse’, short overhangs and widely set wheels, still complete the MINI Cooper SE’s unmistakable exterior characteristics.
Just like the original 1959 MINI, this purely electric premium 2019 car represents a pioneering impetus for urban mobility, paving the way to a highly emotional, metropolitan driving experience. The future looks fun.