Is an electric Mini your next autocrosser?

Steven Cole
By Steven Cole Smith
Nov 22, 2023 | Mini, Review, Cooper SE | Posted in News and Notes | From the June 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Courtesy Mini

Say, have you noticed those gasoline prices lately?

You haven’t?

Then you must be reading this magazine at your dentist’s office. Research suggests the vast majority of our readers drive and thus must have noticed gasoline prices–even if it’s for their own amusement. And those amused people would be electric car drivers.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s entirely logical that …

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SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/6/22 11:37 a.m.

I didn't know this existed!

wspohn SuperDork
5/6/22 11:37 a.m.

The Mini used to be a cute and very useful and economical small car. They had an 80" wheelbase, and weighed approx. 1400-1500 lbs.  It got great fuel mileage.

The new Cooper Clubman has a 105" wheelbase, and is the size of a small SUV, weighing 3600 lbs. (but you are right, getting the battery powered version down to c. 3100 lbs is indeed a laudable accomplishment).

I don't think that the new ones really merit the use of the 'Mini' description any more.....they should probably just label it a BMW X1.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/6/22 11:50 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

I don't care what they call it or what it weighs. I like driving mine. 

ProDarwin MegaDork
5/6/22 11:52 a.m.

Is an electric Mini your next autocrosser?

Were you going to provide any information about its autocross performance? 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/6/22 1:19 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

This was a first drive at the press intro. Hopefully soon we can run numbers. Initial indications, though, show that it’s fun and in the ballpark. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/6/22 1:32 p.m.

I'm not sure what to think about the non-symmetrical wheels.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/22 1:41 p.m.

Max charging rate is 50 kW, so it's not a great road tripper. The Mini site says 80% in 36 minutes (sounds about right for that battery size), and 80% is 88 miles. This is the sort of thing people are worried about when thinking of taking an EV on vacation, and it's real in some cases.

If you are looking at an EV, take a look at that charge rate. Of the other cars mentioned in the article, the Kona can charge at 75 kW and the Leaf can hit 100 but requires the CHAdeMO format which is rapidly becoming obsolete. The Bolt, which should probably have been mentioned, is at 55 kW. These charging rates only matter if you use more than your rated range before a long stop (such as an overnight).

Good price point, and the MINI has some style on its side with minimum dorkiness. That'll help bring some people over.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/22 2:00 p.m.

One question that always has to be asked about short range (and thus likely compliance) EVs: are they available everywhere? The Kona Electric mentioned in the article is only available in 12 states. Is the Mini available everywhere?

Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/6/22 2:06 p.m.

Mileage sounds comparable to the i3

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
5/6/22 2:45 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Nothing a set of RFP1's won't fix.  But yeah, those are pretty awful looking wheels.

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