Home » The 2025 Mini Cooper E Could Become America’s Best City-Car Since The BMW i3

The 2025 Mini Cooper E Could Become America’s Best City-Car Since The BMW i3

2025 Mini Cooper Se Topshot
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The Mini Cooper continues its electric push for 2025 with an all-new EV-specific model meant to bring a bit of the swinging ’60s into the plug-in age. Even better, Mini’s expanded the electric model line with two models that correspond with equivalent combustion-powered variants: The Cooper E, and the Cooper SE. We’ve already written about the car’s styling and infotainment system, but now it’s time for a quick look beneath the skin to see what makes it tick.

P90518414 Highres Mini Cooper Se 09 20

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Let’s start with the Cooper E. Packing 184 horsepower, it can run from zero-to-62 mph in a manufacturer-claimed 7.3 seconds. Featuring a 40.7 kWh battery pack, Mini is targeting a WLTP range of 189 miles with this entry-level model, a 44-mile increase over the outgoing Mini Cooper SE’s range. Now, that probably won’t directly translate to EPA range, but don’t be surprised to see a more practical real-world range out of this new model than out of the one you can buy today.

A promising entry-level model is a solid foundation, but what about sportiness? Well, that falls under the domain of the new Mini Cooper SE. With an output of 218 horsepower and a claimed zero-to-62 mph time of 6.7 seconds, this should be a reasonably zippy electric hot hatch. It features a bigger battery pack than the standard Cooper E model too, although it still measures out to a sensible 54.2 kWh. Mini claims a WLTP range of 249 miles from the new Cooper SE.

P90518420 Highres Mini Cooper Se 09 20

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Sensible figures so far, but what about charging? Well, it’s not fast. The Cooper E can only DC fast charge at 75 kW and the Cooper SE bumps that up to a still relatively slow 95 kW. In an age when Hyundai and Kia are offering 200-plus kW 800-volt architectures, the new Mini’s DC fast charging figures feel so six years ago.

[Editor’s Note: Counterpoint: Because the Mini’s battery offerings are so small, you really don’t need that much charging power. In fact, with their 75kW and 95kW capabilities, both Mini EVs are allegedly capable of charging from 10 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. Granted, because the battery is smaller, 80 percent is just 150 to 200 miles depending on the model, whereas on cars with bigger batteries, they’re charging as fast or even faster to 80%, which corresponds to over 250 miles of range in some cases. Hopefully the Mini’s smaller battery will yield a price savings versus these competitors. -DT]. P90518452 Highres Mini Cooper Se 09 20

So what about the bits that help the new Mini Cooper E go around corners? Well, it all starts with wider tires, measuring 215 mm on models with 17-inch wheels and 225 mm on models with 18-inch wheels. What’s more, tire diameter is up to 635 mm, which translates to 25 inches in imperial units. Put it all together and you get an available 18-inch tire size of 225/40R18 offering 9.4 percent more sidewall than the 205/40R18 tires available on today’s Mini. That bodes well for ride quality. In addition, the strut towers are tied together for body rigidity, something parent company BMW has been doing on M cars for a while now. However, that’s all Mini’s writing when it comes to chassis hardware.

The press release dedicates a worryingly small number of words to the bits underneath the new Mini, and that doesn’t feel right. Sure, the brand can wax poetic about Mini Operating System 9, a touch-based interface in a round screen that we’ve covered before, but any Mini is about the driving experience. Even the ropiest high-mileage rotten-out R53 from the early aughts feels as stiff as an ironing board and possesses telepathic agility. Just think, and the car will be over there. Or there. Or there. These traits were designed into the R53 on purpose, but outstanding handling was largely a side effect on the original Mini.

P90519594 Highres Mini Cooper Se 09 20

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Alec Issigonis wanted the maximum amount of interior room from a minimal ten-foot footprint. The solution for corner hardware? Tiny wheels pushed to all four corners of the vehicle sprung by compact rubber cone suspension designed by Alex Moulton. The stiff rubber cones were particularly clever as they offered great packaging and a progressive spring rate while being much stiffer than the conventional springs on other small cars. In its day, the Mini was a revelation, and they’re still great fun to drive in spite of their questionable driving position. Sure, a new Mini can be connected and electric, but above all else, it needs to be fun. I guess I’ll just have to try one to see what’s what.

P90518431 Highres Mini Cooper Se 09 20

When the new electric Mini comes to America, it will be available in four different trims: Essential, Classic, Favoured, and JCW. The Classic trim adds textile-wrapped interior surfaces, the Favoured trim adds perforated seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, and houndstooth trim, and the JCW trim is chock full of sporty cosmetic bits. Expect it to arrive sometime in 2024, filling a much-needed affordable (hopefully) small EV niche and competing with the incoming Fiat 500e.

(Photo credits: Mini)

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Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
9 months ago

I love the way the interior looks and if I can get a 200mi one at a reasonable price, I can definitely make it my commuter car.

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago

A gas model with a stick would be an instant buy for me.

I don’t see how the EV model works as a city car. As a daily EV driver, unless somebody forces you to own one, I honestly don’t see how anybody would put up with daily driving an EV unless they have private off street parking. EVs are for wealthy suburbanites right now. This one doubly so since it will have up-market pricing.

I love my Lightning, but if I didn’t have a house and a driveway it wouldn’t be practical at all.

There are already too many EVs for at-work charging to be viable. If you can’t charge at work, and you can’t charge at home, and it takes 30 minutes to charge on the road why would you buy one?

Last edited 9 months ago by Ivan256
Isis
Isis
9 months ago

This could really be a good car. Unless they made the batteries and electric motors out of plastic for some goddamn reason like they do their petrol engines. . .

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago
Reply to  Isis

The F56 MINIs are quite reliable.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
9 months ago

I like it.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
9 months ago

Really? Really? They call the higest trim level the JCW? Does that mean they crammed every little piece of kit from the JC Whitney catalog on there? Yikes!

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
9 months ago

I think this is the best looking Mini since the original reboot, possibly even better. All of the visual bloat of the last 20 years is stripped out, the classic lines are there, but to me it’s a modern package. Very intriguing.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
9 months ago

I’ve been saying this often recently: none of this matters until the price is released

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
9 months ago

The better idea would be to resurrect the old Mini, the small sized, lightweight, and compact model, keep the body and put that on an electric drivetrain. This would be small, efficient, and great for running around town or to and from work. Sell it for $25K new, get one for $17K used, and I would consider buying one.

Last edited 9 months ago by Tyler Durden
Bassracerx
Bassracerx
9 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

in a few short years there won’t be a single new vehicle priced under 30 grand.

MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago

The round screen is the only thing I think is uniquely good about this new Mini Cooper

IMHO as someone who has driven neither I think the 500e 3+1 is a much better car, I just hope they bring that variant of the 500e to the US.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
9 months ago

I’ve requested this before and may have missed the reply, but can someone lay out the differences between WLTP and the EPA methods for me?

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
9 months ago

I like it a lot. But you know it’s going to start >$40K USD. I just don’t see how you can justify that expense for the relatively crap numbers. Is a round infotainment screen really worth several thousand dollars?

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

You mis-typed $60K USD.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
9 months ago
Reply to  Ivan256

$60K > $40K, ergo I am technically correct (the best kind of correct).

Cyko9
Cyko9
9 months ago

I like the Mini okay and have always thought it was primed for electrification. But 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds? Is it a hybrid carrying a commercial diesel engine in the back? That seems crazy slow for an EV not much bigger than a go-kart. It’s probably fun enough, but in EV discussions range, accelleration, tech & styling are what sells.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
9 months ago

Maybe if they didn’t put 225/40-18’s on an economy car it would get better range…

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago

But then it would be an economy car rather than a premium luxury hatchback that it will be positioned and priced as.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
9 months ago
Reply to  Ivan256

Slightly smaller wheels and tires can perform pretty well and increase range. But I see your point.

https://www.tirerack.com/upgrade-garage/do-lightweight-wheels-affect-performance

6% difference between lightweight 17″ wheels and wider tires than 16″ wheels and OEM, narrower tires. Not a TON, but certainly interesting info.

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago

We have light weight smaller wheels on our Mini. But there’s more to it. More than just the lux angle even.

Put runflats on those lightweight wheels and you’ll bend ’em after a few bumps. You really need to run them with regular tires. But then there’s no spare, so the manufacturer won’t do that.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

Think I prefer an I3 Rex.

Buzz
Buzz
9 months ago

Some people may say the styling is questionable, but this new Mini is one Funky Cat. Depending on the trim level, you could see 10-20% of the Great Wall before having to recharge.

I don’t have anything against Chinese cars btw, just having a bit of fun at this German/British/Chinese car’s expense.

Six
Six
9 months ago

So, not as fast or as long range as a 2017 Chevy Bolt?

Harmanx
Harmanx
9 months ago
Reply to  Six

Has a bit more personality than a Bolt, and it’s middling DC charging speed is still faster than a Bolt’s. Those things aside, though — yes a Bolt is definitely better in all other metrics.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago

Any idea on the pricing? I love the idea of it, but the pricing on the original EV Cooper was far too high for what it was offering, and I don not see that changing. I fully expect this to land around $40k for the SE, and while I hate them and will not buy a Tesla, this has to beat the model 3 at something, and I don’t think it will. Especially since I doubt it will be built here, and as such it will not be eligible for the tax breaks.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

The current Mini SE is $48K CAD… i.e. too expensive for what you get, same as it ever was. I test drove three generations of Clubman and could never pull the trigger due to the price. Alas!

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

Yeah these things are fun, but they are not worth the premium pricetag.

Thevenin
Thevenin
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

No word on the pricing, but we can speculate. The current-gen Mini Cooper SE has a $31k MSRP, and the Countryman PHEV is $42k.

Based on typical PHEV-to-EV price gaps, I expect the Countryman EV to be about $46k, halfway between a Niro and an XC40 Recharge.

Based on similar EVs with similar range upgrades, we should expect a $35k price tag for the Cooper SE. They won’t want it to get too close to the Countryman’s price, and there’s supposed to be an Aceman slotted in between in the next few years.

Last edited 9 months ago by Thevenin
JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
9 months ago

WLTP at just over 180 miles means at best its 150 miles EPA which means real world is even lower. If you can charge at home and work this is a great second car for sure. For the money I would just get something else like a Model 3 or the upcoming Volvo X30.

121gwats
121gwats
9 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

54.2kwh battery @ 4mi/kwh = 216.8 miles of range. 4mi/kwh is pretty achievable for most larger EVs, I’m going on a limb and saying this should get you 4.5mi/kwh at least, if you keep it under 70mph and have some mixed city driving. That’ll give you ~244 miles of range. You’d have to get 3.3mi/kwh to get 180 miles of range, which is possible but thats more like all freeway or hard driving.

The only thing that might help your argument would be the somewhat boxy shape and upright windshield, its hard to tell without seeing in person. 4mi/kwh sounds like a good hedge.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
9 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

4 mi/kw is definitely a safe lower estimate. I have an e-Golf with a 38kwh battery and I can easily average 4.8 mi/kw giving me a range of 150-170 miles. EPA lists it at 125. These small EVs with moderate range are perfect commuter cars for a broad range of people, as long as they keep an ICE in the stable for the longer trips.

121gwats
121gwats
9 months ago

I always wanted an e-golf, I owned several compliance EVs and that one was always on the list for best looking. My Focus EV got 4.5+mi/kwh as well as my i3. Bolt got 5mi/kwh easily, and its heavy and bubbly. My Model 3 gets 270wh/mi (why did they have to be different???), the internet says that’s ~4.5mi/kwh

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
9 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

e-Golfs have recently hit some really good price points, especially with the $4k tax credit available. AFAIK the e-golf has the best MPGe of all the early compact EVs, and has more usable storage space than the Bolt. Also the interior is the exact same as every MK7-7.5 Golf, so its a real functional car with buttons.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
9 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

I was looking at the Cooper E with the smaller battery, but you are right, this is better than I had estimated. From what I have seen the current Mini EV does 110 miles on a full charge. If they can improve it that significantly it may be a competitor depending on price in the US.

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Neither of those are hatchbacks.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
9 months ago

Is this the first 100% AI designed car? Because it sure looks like it.

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