The new fully-electric MINI Electric has gone on sale in Ireland and, thanks to the government grants on EVs, pricing will start well below €30,000.
Buyers will have the choice of three specification grades, but just one battery capacity will be available. That's a 32.6kWh battery, which is formed in a t-shape that sits beneath the rear seats and on the centreline of the car. The internal dimensions are almost unchanged from that of the regular three-door MINI Hatch, and the boot holds 211 litres of luggage.
Quick charging and up to 233 kilometres
Powering the MINI Electric is a 184hp electric motor that drives the front wheels though a single-speed transmission. With a torque output of 270Nm, the MINI Electric can get off the line quickly, reaching 60km/h in 3.9 seconds and accelerating to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds. The single-charge driving range is 233 kilometres on the WLTP test cycle.
The MINI Electric is capable of rapid DC charging at 50kW with a CCS Combo 2 charger, which can replenish the charge from 0-80 per cent in 36 minutes. Charging to 80 per cent with a 7.4kW charger takes 3 hours 12 minutes, or with a 11kW charger this same process falls to 2 hours 30 minutes. All MINI Electric models will come with a home and a public charging cable in the boot.
According to MINI, the Electric model is no less fun to drive than its other models and, despite having the battery pack on board, it doesn't incur a huge weight penalty, tipping the scales at 1,365kg, 145kg more than a MINI Cooper S Hatch with an automatic transmission. As the battery is located within the floor of the car its overall centre of gravity is 30mm lower than normal and it maintains near-perfect weight distribution front-to-rear.
It will feature four driving modes that can be selected by the driver via a toggle switch. The Sport setting weights up the steering and maximises power delivery, but there is a Mid mode that has a more normal feel for everyday use. The Green setting dials back throttle sensitivity and in Green+ mode energy consumers like the air conditioning are reduced to help save battery charge and increase range. Regardless of which mode you're driving in, it is possible to alter the rate of energy recovery when braking.
A digital cockpit
Most of the interior of the MINI Electric mimics that of the petrol of diesel versions, but it does get a 5.5-inch colour display behind the steering wheel that shows a variety of relevant information including range remaining. A 6.5-inch infotainment display is also standard and this includes a useful map view that overlays the existing driving range in a circle. Along with choosing the shortest or fastest directions, the navigation can also suggest a green route that will have the least effect on energy consumption.
Three MINI Electric specification levels
MINI has created three equipment grades for the car, simply named Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The MINI Electric Level 1 model costs €27,765 after grants, or from €313 per month plus an initial payment of €4,829. It features sport seats with Double Stripe cloth upholstery in Carbon Black, a leather multifunction steering wheel and Black Chequered interior surfaces with Satellite Grey headlining. Other standard equipment includes automatic air conditioning, cruise control with brake function, LED fog lights, LED headlights and tail lights, satellite navigation, a height adjustable passenger seat and rain sensing wipers with automatic headlight activation. A choice of two 16-inch alloy wheel designs or a 17-inch four-spoke design is also available. Only two exterior paint colours are available with this model, Moonwalk Grey or White Silver.
The move to the Level 2 specification costs an additional €2,390, at €30,155 including grants - or from €335 per month after an initial payment of €5,547. This mid-level version gets a choice fo four alloy wheel designs ranging from 16 to 17 inches in diameter, along with a choice of five exterior paint colours. Inside, it gets sport seats with Black Pearl cloth/leatherette upholstery and a leather multifunction steering wheel with Piano Black interior surfaces and Anthracite headlining. In addition to the Level 1 standard equipment, the Level 2 model gains keyless access, Driving Assistant, electrically folding mirrors, a front centre armrest, interior lighting pack, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, heated front seats and a storage compartment pack.
Spending a further €5,300 gets you the €35,455 (including grants) MINI Electric Level 3, which is also available for €410 per month after an initial €7,134 payment. This range-topping model is available with six exterior colours and five different alloy wheel designs ranging from 16 to 17 inches. On the inside, it gets sport seats with MINI Yours Lounge leather upholstery in Carbon Black and a MINI Yours leather multifunction steering wheel. There's a MINI Yours Piano Black interior style that's illuminated and an Anthracite headlining, too. This version also gets adaptive LED headlights with matrix functionality, front parking sensors, an upgraded Harman Kardon stereo system, a head-up display, Navigation Plus Pack, Parking Assist and a panoramic glass sunroof.
All versions are also available with the choice of Aspen White or Jet Black for the roof and Vigorous Grey or Energentic Yellow for the mirror caps and front blade design.