BMW Launches All-New, All-EV MINI Cooper and MINI Countryman

BMW’s MINI brand has announced the re-invention of its two best-selling models as all-electric vehicles. Both the MINI Cooper and its larger sibling the MINI Countryman are now battery-electric vehicles aiming at the world market.

“With its electric drive and purist design, the new MINI Cooper is a perfect fit for an urban lifestyle. In the fifth generation of the MINI Cooper, we combine the traditional MINI DNA with innovative, future-oriented technology while enabling locally emission-free driving fun that is typical of MINI.” –Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI.

A simplified design for the new MINI models includes the brand’s signature circular headlamps and octagonal grille. The rest of the cars’ design elements are aerodynamic, but still boxy to fit with the MINI heritage. Aerodynamics on the MINI Cooper are reduced to 0.28 Cd and to 0.26 Cd for the larger Countryman model. Both models also feature configurable front and rear daytime running lights to allow owners to make them more unique.

Inside the new MINI models, purists will be disappointed to find that the iconic chrome aircraft switches have been eliminated. In favor of a short bar of plastic switches that include the gear selector for the transmission. All underneath a large, circular screen where most controls are now located.

In addition, the MINI Countryman, now being touted as a crossover-SUV, gets even larger than its previous generation. At 174.5 inches (4,433mm) and 72.5 inches (1,843mm) wide. The Countryman now stands at 65 inches (1,656mm). The Countryman’s wheelbase was lengthened to 106 inches (2,692mm) to accommodate batteries.

“With the all-electric MINI Countryman, the largest model in the new MINI vehicle family takes the brand into an era of locally emission-free electric mobility. The first MINI to be manufactured in Germany also offers the highest possible level of environmental compatibility in production. Its versatility and powerful electric drive make it the perfect companion in the city as well as for adventures beyond.” –Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI.

The new MINI Cooper EV has an estimated range of 189.5 miles (305 km) in its E model (40.7 kWh battery) and 250 miles (402km) with the Cooper SE model (54.2 kWh battery). The new, all-electric MINI Countryman has an estimated range of 287 miles (462km) in its standard configuration and 269 miles (433km) in its sportier SE ALL4 model. Both Countryman models use a 54.2 kWh battery and range estimates for both MINI models are via the European WLTP test cycle. Both MINI EVs are capable of DC fast charging.

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Power outputs in the all-new MINI Cooper are substantial, but not record-breaking. The Cooper E outputs 184 horsepower (135 kW) and 290 Nm of torque. This gives it a 0-100km/h sprint of 7.3 seconds. The Cooper SE outputs 218 hp (160 kW) / 330 Nm, reducing that sprint to 6.7 seconds.

The new MINI models also draw from BMW’s catalog of advanced safety systems and advanced infotainment capabilities. Interior “experience modes” change both drive modes and ambient lighting to set up a mood. Infotainment is now voice-enabled with a “Hey, MINI” prompt similar to the “Hey, BMW” found in its parent company’s vehicles. This allows some natural language requests such as radio tuning and navigation. It also integrates with a new MINI smartphone app which can monitor charging status and other features.

“Inspired by our history, we have developed our own new design language, defining our DNA. We call it ‘Charismatic Simplicity’. The idea behind it is a design that gives each new MINI model a strong, individual character and is characterized by a clear, reduced design language intuitively focused on the essentials of the brand.” –Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design.

The new fifth-generation MINI Cooper and third-generation MINI Countryman are launching at 2024 models. Pricing and other details will be given closer to production, which should begin in late 2023.