Mini Electric will shortly arrive in Australia with a driveaway price and some extra goodies for the early adopters.
You wouldn’t know it, but this isn’t the first Mini in the country that can move under its own electric power. The Mini Countryman PHEV holds that distinction. The second one, however, is a fully electric brick so you can commit to the concept in some style.
How much is a 2020 Mini Electric and what do I get?
$59,990 driveway (Australia)
Mini is expecting the Mini Electric First Edition to arrive in Australian showrooms from August, so you might be allowed into the dealership for them to throw you the keys. Literally.
The three-door hatch comes with a 17-inch wheels in two designs, adaptive LED headlights, leather sport seats, head up display, a distinctive digital dash and a harmon kardon stereo system.
No doubt you’ll get a few extras too like wireless Apple CarPlay. Well, we hope so for that kind of money.
Look and feel
It’s a proper Mini, right down to the Union Jack taillights. I really like it when normal cars with normal looks (as normal as a Mini ever can be) have a fully electric option. To distinguish the externals, there are those funky alloys, the yellow mirrors and grill finish and a few badges and bits and pieces.
The interior has the usual changes, including a digital dash and a modified centre console, which still has a shifter. I bet there were heaps of arguments about that.
The Mini Electric packs 135kW and 270Nm to send to the front wheels. Being electric, the torque is available from zero revs. Mini reckons it will crack 100km/h in 7.3 seconds (Mini Cooper S pace, if I recall correctly) and is front-wheel drive.
The battery is a 32.6kWh lithium-ion unit, delivering a 233km range (WLTP, so it should be reasonably accurate). If you can get your hands on a 50kW DC charger (“in this pandemic?”/”in this backwards country?”) you can get an 80 percent charge in a spankingly quick 35 minutes.
I gotta say, I’m a bit disappointed at the price. For a little bit more money you can get yourself a Hyundai Kona Electric with twice the real world range. No, it’s not a Mini, but boy is it good.
Setting that aside, the price makes it a no-brainer against something like the perky but pricey Renault ZOE and Nissan’s dull Leaf. And apart from the cracking BMW i3, it’s the best-looking electric car. Yes, I said something earlier about normal-looking cars being electric, shut up.
It will be interesting to see how the Mini Electric goes. I think it’s the kind of car that wakes people up to EVs the way cars like the Leaf and underrated ZOE can’t. And because it’s not $120,000 but is a premium brand, I’ll be very keen to see what’s what.
And let’s face it, the world is going to be quite different on the other side of all this.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.