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Home / Hot Stuff / Fifth-gen Mini Cooper Electric goes all-in on retro appeal

Fifth-gen Mini Cooper Electric goes all-in on retro appeal

Tech-heavy interior still gives a big nod to the original 1960s Mini

Mini Cooper Electric 2023 hot stuff

The times are changin’ over at Mini. The iconic three-door supermini first added an electric variant a few years back, but this new fifth-gen Mini Cooper Electric is all-new, with E and SE model variants set to hit the roads in Spring 2024.

Revealed for the first time at Munich’s International Motor Show, Mini has subtly honed the Cooper Electric to help it keep up with the times – while preserving many of the same classic design lines that made it so popular over the years. Larger wheels sit under a bigger wheelbase, chrome trim has largely been taken off the menu, and a distinctive new contoured grille design is sandwiched between those familiar circular headlights – which feature three adjustable light signatures for the first time.

Flush door handles, a lack of wheel arches and no side scuttles keep things sleek at the sides, with the pared-down feel continuing at the rear with flush-mounted tail lights. The union jack motif remains, only now with more adjustment than older models.

Underneath, the entry-grade Cooper Electric E gets a 184bhp electric motor and 40.7kWh battery, good for a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds, 99mph top speed and maximum range of 190 miles. The more potent Cooper Electric SE gets a 218bhp motor, which knocks the 0-60mph sprint down to 6.7 seconds, and raises top sped to 106mph. A larger 54.2kWh battery aims to deliver up to 250 miles per charge. 75kW DC charging should replenish from 10 to 80 percent in around 30 minutes.

It’ll start from £34,500, compared to the slightly more affordable £30,000 of the E model.

Driving a Mini has always been about fun, and that looks set to continue with the addition of new drive modes. A Go-Kart option presumably does exactly what it suggests to the drive and handling; conversely anyone worried about their range can switch to Green Mode to conserve battery levels.

Inside, the Mini Cooper Electric looks suitably fresh whether you go for the Classic, Exclusive or Sport trim. Alongside a new three-spoke steering wheel, there’s a distinctive new circular digital instrument cluster in the centre of the dashboard, supplemented by physical controls underneath. The 240mm OLED can be touch- or voice-operated, with one half showing car-related info and the other playing home to Navigation, Media, Phone and Climate controls. Widgets let you customise the layout and users can also call on the help of the ‘Hey MINI’ personal assistant. A head-up display also comes as an option.

This is supplemented by a neat use of new materials across the dash and throughout the interior, including some recycled polyester components. The deceptively sizeable cockpit will also feature ambient lighting, while 60:40 fold-down seats help expand the storage from 200 litres up to an impressive 800 litres.

Depending on which trim you go for, there’ll be a choice of contrasting or multi-tone roof colours, wheel options and bodywork decals. The Classic can be had in new Sunny Side Yellow paint, Sport cars get eye-catching gloss black grilles, and optional red/black bonnet stripes can add some classic Mini vibes to the overall package.

It’s not the only new MINI at the German auto show either, with a brand new Countryman model appearing too. This is the third generation of the car, which now comes with petrol and electric drivetrain options. The latter promises a range of up to 287 miles.

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Rob is a freelance motoring journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv