Spyshots: 2019 MINI Electric Vehicle Getting Closer to Production
26 Jan 2018  Mircea Panait

2019 MINI Cooper E

Remember when MINI was written Mini and made mini-sized cars? The automaker
is a different animal altogether since BMW took over control, and to this
effect, the centerpiece of the range is at odds with the original designed
in the 1950s by Alec Issigonis. If the British-Greek designer were still
alive, he’d be shocked to see MINI rock down Electric Avenue.

The inevitable had indeed happened, ladies and gentlemen! After growing
large and fat, the MINI Hardtop is about to ditch suck-squeeze-bang-blow for
electricity. Anticipated to bear the name Cooper E, the first test mules of
the newest member of the family have been snapped by the carparazzi.

“It looks a lot like the regular Hardtop, doesn’t it?” The proportions are
the same, but peer through the yellow-and-black camouflage and you’ll notice
that something going on up front. The grille appears to have suffered some
changes, signaling that gasoline isn’t on this car’s agenda.

Don’t be put off by the Cooper S-inspired hood scoop, for the engine bay
hides an electric motor that might be related to drive system in the BMW i3.
Which is a bit hilarious when you think about it, because the MINI E fleet
of demonstration vehicles made both the i3 possible in the first place.

Spied driving in the coldness of Sweden and hitching a ride on the back of a
transporter in Munich, the Cooper E mules pictured in the gallery are
nothing more than powertrain test vehicles. For the production-ready model,
MINI is certain to change the design of the headlights. It’ll also put an E
badge on the charge port door as a reminder that dinosaur juice is not
welcomed here.

Aerodynamic trickery inspired by the Electric Concept from the 2017
Frankfurt Motor Show will also make it to production as a means to maximize
driving range. Speaking of which, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cooper
E will be offered with the 60-Ah battery of the i3. Or the 94-Ah battery. Or
maybe both, because customers can’t have too few choices.

It’s realistic to expect more than 100 miles of EPA-rated driving range from
the electrified MINI Hardtop, probably more than the 124-mile rating of the
i3 with the 94-Ah pack if the automaker can keep the weight low. But with
alternatives such as the Model 3 and even the likes of the Leaf, it’ll be
hard for MINI to put justify the price of the Cooper E. 
[© 2018 SoftNews NET]

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