The MINI Cooper SE, which is the brand’s first fully-electric model for the mass market, looks set to arrive in Malaysia, according to teasers posted on MINI Malaysia’s social media pages. This confirms what was suggested by BMW Group Malaysia back in February this year, which will see the Cooper SE join the BMW i3s in the company’s local electric vehicle line-up.
The Cooper SE first broke cover back in July last year, and utilises the same UKL platform as the current F56 MINI 3 Door. The EV’s powertrain is based on the i3s, although the layout has been flipped for front-wheel drive rather than rear-wheel drive, with 184 PS (181 hp) and 270 Nm of torque being provided by the electric motor. Performance-wise, the Cooper SE will hit a top speed of 150 km/h and get from zero to 60 km/h in 3.9 seconds, or 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.
The repackaging of the i3s’ powertrain for the Cooper SE also necessitates a new T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack, which can take advantage of the lack of an exhaust system. The battery has an energy capacity of 32.6 kWh – slightly less than the i3s (33.2 kWh) – and is good for up to 270 km of range based on the WLTP test cycle.
Like the i3s, the electric MINI comes with an 11-kW onboard AC charger with a Type 2 connection, allowing for a number of charging options. With a 7.4-kW MINI Electric Wallbox and a single-phase AC outlet, a full charge takes 4.2 hours (or 3.2 hours to 80%), while with a more powerful 11-kW, three-phase wallbox, this is reduced to 3.5 hours (or 2.5 hours to 80%).
The fastest means of “refuelling” is with DC fast-charging via a CCS Combo 2 connection, which the car supports up to 50. This method requires one to wait just 35 minutes to get from a zero to 80% state of charge, or 1.4 hours for a full charge.
To make sure the Cooper SE stands out from its petrol-powered siblings, it gets some model-specific cues like a smaller front grille, yellow accents and MINI Electric badging. The yellow theme is also very evident on the inside, with hints of the colour being applied on the steering wheel, gear lever, push start button and infotainment controller.
The company hasn’t provided any details about the Cooper SE destined for our market, most notably how much it’ll cost. The i3s is set to retail at RM268,823.96 come June 15 until the end of 2020 due to SST exemption, so a figure around (or even exceeding) that ballpark is likely.
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