At the risk of ruffling the fine feathers in Mini owners’ hats, we know all Minis are fun to drive but the newly-launched Cooper SE is literally an electrifying drive with a pure-electric propulsion unit good for a range of 234km with the usual Mini go-kart driving experience.
The Cooper SE sits on the UKL platform that underpins the new Mini 3-Door and Mini 5-Door hatches so there’s nothing extraordinary in terms of dimensions.
You might already be familiar with the electric motor in the Cooper SE as it’s identical to that in the BMW i3s. It delivers 184hp and 270Nm of torque from 100-1,000rpm. There’s a single-stage transmission as is common on electric vehicles.
Electric hatches are most comfortable doing town rounds and it’s no different here. The power unit was set up to deliver some electrifying sprinting from 0-60kph; dispatching it in just 3.9-seconds. Top speed is 150kph; plenty for a city runabout. The battery is a 32.6kWh lithium-ion pack but with a usable 28.9kWh.
Charging can be done via the 11kW built-in charger that can be plugged into a standard three-pin household socket. This gets you from 0-80 per cent in 12 hours and if you aren’t willing to more, that’s all the charging you’ll get.
Mini Malaysia recommends purchasing the optional 22kW Mini Wallbox Plus that’s an extra RM6,500. If that’s a little over your budget, you can opt for the 5.0m Type-2 triple-phase cable that plugs into public charging units for RM1,388.20.
By utilising an 11kW triple-phase wallbox, you can charge the Cooper SE in 3.5-hours while a single-phase box will take 4.2-hours. If you’re lucky enough to come across a 50kW DC fast-charger, then you’ll just need 1.4-hours of your time for a full charge but an 80 per cent charge will only take 36 minutes.
Mini went the extra mile to provide some protection for the battery. There’s a solid base plate underneath while the ride height was raised by 18mm for ground clearance. Brake regeneration can be optioned between two levels to suite your driving style.
There’s no mistaking the Cooper SE for any other model with its psychedelic yellow trim peppered around the car. The radiator grille is closed off since there’s no need for it and it’s flanked by Matrix LED headlights. From the rear, the signature Union Jack motif taillights are present.
Last but certainly not the least are those catchy 17-inch Power Spoke wheels exclusive to the Cooper SE. Previously, those rollers were disastrously labelled Corona Spoke but they probably renamed it quicker than any of their models could sprint to 100kph.
In the cabin, it’s all pretty familiar Mini fare with the addition of a 5.5-inch digital instrument display. Yellow is the theme and even the signature ignition toggle switch ditches its red for the shade of lemon. The drive modes here are a little different with Green and Green+ alongside the usual Sport and Mid. A wireless charging tray for your phone, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a heads-up display complete the interior. Boot space is unimpeded at 211-litres, the same as the regular Cooper 3-Door.
Safety here has been beefed up with a Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant that also includes an autonomous emergency braking (6-60kph) feature.
You can have your Cooper SE in either Chili Red, British Racing Green or White Silver. Pricing is RM218,380 (with SST exemption) or RM225,888 with SST. Included is a four-year unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service and an eight-year/100,000km warranty for the battery.