Mini unveils the fully-electric Cooper SE
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With government regulations around emissions tightening up around the world and in New Zealand, it's little surprise that the majority of manufacturers are releasing electric variants of their popular models to keep up.
Mini is the latest manufacturer to jump on to the electric boat, unveiling a fully electric version of the Cooper, which offers a range of 235 to 270 km.
Powering the Cooper SE is a 135kW electric motor that's fed by a lithium-ion battery located in the floor. Like most other Mini models, the SE is front-wheel drive.
The Mini Cooper SE uses the iconic Mini 3-door body, but there are have been a few changes around the car that indicate its electric power plant. The charge port is located above the right-hand rear wheel, and you can find several Mini Electric logos scattered around the car.
Alongside the logos, other updates include a yellow light bar on the front of the car, yellow exterior mirror caps, and optional 17-inch alloy wheels.
In terms of the driving experience, Mini has said that the 135kW motor makes it quite a fun car to drive. A single stage transmission sends the instant 270Nm of torque to the front wheels through an integrated differential. It may not be a speed demon, but the SE can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a respectable 7.3 seconds.
According to the release, a distinctive 'Mini' sound is played through a speaker system as you are driving, in order to create "an acoustic presence on the road that is typical of MINI".
It takes two and a half hours to charge the 32.6kWh battery to 80% when using a standard charging cable or a three-phase cable. If you want 100% charge, you'll have to wait three and a half hours; however, if you use a DC fast-charging station, 80% can be achieved in just 35 minutes.
Looking at the interior of the SE, it's distinctively Mini. Double Stripe Carbon black seats come with the Trim S package, while fabric/leather seats make up the Trim M and Trim L packages. If you opt for the XL package, leather seats are standard.
As the batteries are mounted very deep in the boot, storage space isn't affected, and the SE offers just as much space as any other Mini 3-door model.