Watt a super mini! New SA-bound electric Mini driven

By Ray Massey Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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London - Should Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old eco-warrior, be looking for her first car, the new zero-emissions Mini Electric I’ve just been driving on its global launch could be just the job.

The battery-powered three-door hatchback offers a scintillating performance that’s as electric as its ‘green’ power source. I loved it.

Despite being built at Mini’s factory in Oxford, the firm’s bosses at BMW in Munich held the global launch in Miami, Florida, hopeful of some sunny winter weather. Naturally, it poured.

But the Mini electric coped with the super-slippery roads, proving sure-footed and grippy.

Acceleration is instantaneous and rapid - from rest to 60km/h in 3.9 seconds and up to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds.

Top speed is electronically restricted to 150km/h. It’s fun, fast and agile. You quickly forget that this is an electric car. It’s just a very sporty Mini.

But the real revelation was just how easy it is to drive with your right foot planted mainly on the accelerator, and rarely touching the brakes. Just lifting your foot off the accelerator creates its own braking effect and the resistance created simultaneously recharges the battery, boosting its range.

Riding on 16" or 17" wheels, the car has a claimed range of up to 235km. It is powered by a 135kW electric motor charged from a 32.6kWh lithium ion battery. There are four driving modes. Sport is perfect for spirited driving. But ‘Mid’ is still lively around town. To save power there’s Green and Green+ which switches off functions such as air-conditioning. Its satnav can work out shortest, fastest and ‘greenest’ route.

On a public fast charger the Mini achieves 80 percent charge in 35 minutes or 3 hours 12 minutes on a domestic 7.4kW wall-box.

For the ‘Greta’ generation, it’s not cheap. Prices in the UK start from £24 400 (around R480 000) after government incentives.

The Mini Cooper SE is expected to reach South African shores in early 2021, and it's too early to predict local pricing at this stage.

Daily Mail

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