Following its prolonged struggle amid low market demand for compact cars, Mini is preparing to enter a new age with the upcoming release of its all-new electric vehicle, the Cooper SE.
Expectations are high for the model, which will be Mini’s first mass-market pure EV. The electric Mini E released a decade ago is considered by the brand as a highly limited, pilot-project model.
In a recent reporting of BMW Group’s sales and forecast, outgoing chief executive Harald Kruger revealed the company has already received more than 40,000 pre-orders of the electric car. This shows promising demand for the model compared to the 44,000 units cumulatively sold by the automaker across its lineup in the United States for the entire year of 2018.
The Cooper SE is based on the three-door Hardtop hatchback that makes 181 horsepower and is powered by a front-wheel-drive system. It can reach 62 mph within 7.3 seconds from a standstill and is projected to travel about 170 miles on a single charge, according to European standards.
Other than these, Mini remains tight-lipped on other specifications of the Cooper SE. What is confirmed so far is that the model will be built in the United Kingdom and will eventually be exported to the United States sometime in 2020. Production is scheduled to begin in November.
Meanwhile, the brand will also continue to offer the plug-in hybrid version of its Countryman crossover, which is expected to arrive in 2020 with a bigger battery. The Cooper SE Countryman All4 will be offered with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three engine, electrically assisted to make up to 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque.
According to the company, the future is looking bright for the plug-in Countryman with its sales up by 50 percent in the first half of 2019.