Mini accelerates towards electric future with EV Cooper and Countryman
Third-generation Countryman gets an electric twist
First to arrive is the brand-new Countryman SUV with an EV driving range of up to 287 miles. It can also be rapid-charged from 10- to 80% in less than 30 minutes.
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Luckily, if all-electric feels a little too modern, MINI is offering two versions of the Countryman Electric alongside petrol models from the get-go. The Countryman Electric E has a 204hp electric motor that delivers 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds and that 287-mile range. Go for the Countryman in Electric SE ALL4 spec and you get a zippy 313hp motor that dashes from 0-62mph in just 5.6 seconds along with four-wheel drive grip and a 269-mile range.
As you might predict with MINI, these options do not come cheap. The Countryman Electric E costs from £41,500 and the SE ALL4 comes in at £46,600 to give the Volvo XC40 Recharge a hard time.
Pick your trim: for even more character
But, at that price, you do get certain bells and whistles. Every Countryman will come with MINI’s Interaction Unit infotainment, which is the world’s first circular OLED touchscreen. The large 24cm screen also works the MINI Experience Modes that let you choose interior lighting — we count at least five options — and the infotainment screen’s appearance.
Choice really does seem to be the name of the game with the new Countryman. Three Countryman trim levels are available, made up of Classic, Exclusive, and Sport, and recycled materials and synthetic leather upholstery help the MINI’s green credentials.
Embodying that go-kart feeling
Hot on the heels of the Countryman comes the reinvented three-door hatch Cooper Electric. The E version gets a 181hp motor, 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, and 190-mile range. Take the SE with its more exciting 215hp motor and you get 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds plus a longer 250-mile driving range. Reckon on them costing from £30,000 for the E and £34,500 for the SE.
Both Cooper hatches use the same 24cm infotainment screen as the Countryman and recycled cabin materials, and there’s a completely new platform underneath the sleek body.
However, MINI has gone back to basics for some of the Cooper’s design. Like the very first 1959 Mini, the wheels have been pushed right to the corners of the car so there’s maximum space inside for people and luggage.
Along with what MINI calls its “charismatic simplicity” chrome-free style, the MINI Cooper Electric has purposeful looks that tell you it’s going to be huge fun to drive. So, just like a MINI, then.