Update: Introduction and ‘Design,’ ‘Interior,’ ‘Platform & Specifications,’ ‘Production,’ and ‘Release Date’ sections updated.
The MINI brand’s iconic 2-door hatchback is entering its fifth generation with the second installation of the EV. The all-new MINI electric car is expected to be released in the U.S. as the 2025 MINI Cooper. However, in the first markets, which should include European countries, it will arrive as a 2024 model.
The 2024 MINI Cooper electric maintains its predecessor’s much-loved charm, as well as the street-friendly dimensions. The hood is lower and the face is tapered inward, both of which should result in improved aerodynamics. The hood doesn’t have an air scoop like that of the outgoing model, lending the car a cleaner look, and it is comparatively shorter. This is the first MINI without the clamshell hood since the BMW Group revived the brand in 2001.
The signature circular headlamps feature not only the familiar round DRL at the edge but also two slanted horizontal-line DRLs on the inside. The new octagonal grille isn’t in chrome finish, as MINI is avoiding chrome usage entirely beginning with the new electric hatchback. The new bumper doesn’t have side air inlets, which adds to the car’s clean look.
The side profile is nearly identical, but it looks cleaner as there are flush-fitted door handles instead of pull-type door handles and no wheel arch moldings. Also, note how there are no side scuttles either. The oblong door mirrors look a bit weird in our opinion and don’t offer an appealing upgrade over the outgoing model’s units, which did have a slightly rounded appearance.
As a bespoke EV, which isn’t the case with the outgoing model, the 2024 MINI Cooper reportedly has a longer wheelbase and a shorter front overhang. According to a report from Autocar, the wheelbase is around 40 mm/1.6 in. longer (current model: 2,495 mm/98.2 in.), and the track is also wider.
The all-new electric MINI’s rear-end makes it instantly recognizable from a distance, thanks to newly designed tail lamps that are slimmer and almost triangular. A thick trim strip runs across the width of the tailgate and connects the tail lamps.
Aluminum alloy wheels
While the MINI Electric is available with 17- and 18-inch wheels, the MINI Cooper will be available with 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels. An increased tire width and diameter lead to improved dynamics, increased comfort, and enhanced road presence. The engineers had to increase the track width to accommodate the wider-profile tires.
From 2024, BMW Group plans to only use sustainably produced aluminum wheels in all MINI (and BMW) models. Producing these wheels with 100% green energy will save up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. BMW Group started sourcing aluminum made only using electricity produced with solar energy from Dubai (UAE) in 2021. The company processes this aluminum in the light metal foundry at its Landshut plant in Germany.
The MINI Cooper electric will be available in three new colors: Sunny Side Yellow, Blazing Blue (seen in the pictures above), and Legend Grey. A MotoringFile report suggests it could be offered in Ocean Wave Green, Chilli Red II, Icy Sunshine Blue, Indigo Sunset Blue, British Racing Green, Midnight Black, and Nanuq White as well.
The interior of the MINI Cooper electric has a layout that is familiar to MINI owners — but with big design changes. MINI has adopted a minimalistic approach and given the car a sleek, clean, and upmarket feel. This should particularly benefit tech-savvy customers, as we expect more controls to go digital.
The dashboard has less volume and features a concave surface in the upper section. An ultra-wide strip of AC vents on the passenger side underlines the low-profile and slim look of this panel. Built-in backlighting on the driver and passenger side emphasizes the car’s high-tech nature. The ambient light system produces a subdued glow through the lower part of the dashboard, and also from behind the door speakers and below the door armrests. The door handles have a new, capsule-like shape now rectangular, which makes them look more compact than the outgoing car’s circular door handles, in line with the new less is more theme of the cabin.
The center stack houses toggle switches to select the gear and Experience modes and a few other physical controls. Below it, there’s a smartphone deck with two USB Type-C ports and perhaps even a wireless charging pad. There’s no instrument cluster in the car, just a wide head-up display. A floating touchscreen in the shape of a makeup mirror is the center point of the interior.
The central display is a round OLED unit measuring 240 mm (9.5 in.) diagonally. It combines the functions of the instrument cluster, on-board monitor, infotainment system, and climate control system. It features a cleaner and more 3D-look user interface. The round frame makes sense now, as the whole area is used for the display and isn’t just a piece of decor, unlike in the outgoing model.
The temperature of both the climate zones (FL and FR) are shown at the edge the on respective sides. Spike, an English Bulldog, makes using the infotainment fun, serving as an interactive personal assistant, similar to how Nio has NOMI in its EVs, but without a dedicated electronic display.
An Experience toggle switch allows customers to set the layout of the central display from four modes: Core, Green, Balance, Timeless, and Personal. The Personal mode gives them the ability to set a personal background picture, just like setting a wallpaper on a smartphone. Another interior highlight is a feature called ‘MINI Sounds,’ which includes driving sounds, jingles for the Experience modes, and 30 new sound signals for information and warning functions.
A card-like compact menu at the bottom lets the driver select climate control, navigation, phone call, and other functions. It includes a home button as well. An iOS-like horizontal line sits below this card-like compact menu, which could give the user an alternative to that home button; a swipe-up gesture on that line could navigate the system to the home screen. The top of the display presents critical driving information, including the speed, speed limit, gear, and remaining range, and that should stay switched on, even when another primary function dominates the display.
Customers will be able to choose from two steering wheels. The standard unit should be a two-spoke unit and the optional unit a three-spoke unit with a unique fabric finish serving as the additional spoke.
The MINI Cooper is the brand’s first car to feature an interior camera with a Snapshot function that lets drivers and passengers take their photos. According to another MotoringFile report, that’s possible using simple voice commands or touch control.
The interior camera’s main purpose is to provide customers with an additional layer of security, as per the report. It will let them check the cabin remotely using the MINI app. It’s safe to assume it will be activated when the vehicle’s anti-theft recorder is triggered.
The MINI Cooper will be sold in four trims: Essential, Classic, Favoured, and John Cooper Works. The Essential trim keeps the style simple and highlights select functional parts, including the logo, in the new accent color Vibrant Silver, which is a replacement for chrome. The Classic trim offers changes in the interior, such as a three-spoke steering wheel with a new textile strap in the six o’clock spoke and a knitted textile on the dashboard and door handles.
The Favoured is more expressive, featuring an all-new Spray-Tech design of the multitone roof (a blending of three different colors), a two-tone houndstooth pattern on a knitted-textile IP, and perforated Vescin sports seats (available in two color options and with traditional accent stitching).
The John Cooper Works trim is about added sportiness, achieved with a unique front and rear design. High-gloss black front grille frame and logo, motorsport roof finished in a contrasting Chili Red color, hood stripes (red/black), etc. are some of the styling highlights of this trim.
Platform & Specifications
Bespoke EV platform
Underpinning the MINI Cooper is a dedicated EV platform co-developed with China’s Great Wall Motor. Thanks to the bespoke platform, it can offer more interior space in a smaller exterior compared to the current model. Thomas Geiger of YouTube channel ThomasGeigerCar rode shotgun in a prototype where he said that the car feels bigger from the inside. The motor is smaller, while the wheelbase, as stated in the previous section, is longer, all of which contribute to space efficiency.
MINI engineer Klaus Bramer has told Auto Express that the redesigned MINI electric car has a lower center of gravity, so it’s possible to make the car more agile and playful. The new MINI is lighter, too, which can only make things better on the street. The high-output, long-range variant (presumably the SE), likely the one heading to the U.S., has a sportier set-up. According to the report from Autocar, the all-new model has a slightly rear-biased weight distribution.
Two variants of the MINI Cooper will be available initially: E and SE. The Cooper E has a 40.7 kWh battery pack and a 181 hp/214 lb.-ft. motor, while the Cooper SE has a 54.2 kWh battery pack and a 214 hp/243 lb.-ft. motor. The former should deliver a WLTP range of up to 190 miles and the latter’s targeted WLTP range is 250 miles. The EPA-est. range of the latter could be ~200 miles.
The Cooper E and Cooper SE support charging via alternating current at up to 11 kW. The former supports DC fast-charging at up to 75 kW and the latter at up to 95 kW. However, both take less than 30 minutes for a 10-80% DC fast-charging session.
The MINI Cooper JCW’s details aren’t out yet. We expect it to come with a ~250 hp powertrain and the same 54.2 kWh battery pack. Its EPA-est. range could be ~170 miles.
According to a report Express released on September 4, 2022, Dr. Thomas Becker, Vice President – Sustainability and Mobility Strategy, BMW Group, suggests that the company is not worried about the short range of MINI EVs. He says that many MINI customers reside in urban and suburban locations and don’t necessarily travel thousands of kilometers. They use their MINIs for commuting. Moreover, there’s a strong possibility that these customers already have a long-range model as their primary vehicle for traveling distances.
The MINI Cooper can accelerate from a standstill to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds in the E variant and 6.7 seconds in the SE variant. In the Cooper John Cooper Works variant, the 0-62 mph acceleration time could even lower – less than 6 seconds. According to a report from CAR, the electronically limited top speed of the MINI Cooper will be higher than that of the MINI Electric (93 mph) – 125 mph.
A more driver’s car
The suspension system is the same, a combination of MacPherson struts (front) and a multi-link system (rear). During its prototype drive, Autocar felt less bounciness, and drivers would much appreciate its settledness. Bramer told the British publication that the electric power steering will also offer more feel in the next-gen model.
The all-new traction control should contribute to improved handling. The traction control system integrates a new motor controller, and with the two components closer, the functioning is faster and active rather than passive, reducing understeer and torque steer. At least in the prototype, it was felt that the new setup provided more traction than the current gas-powered MINI Hatch which was brought for comparison.
|Aspect\Specification||2024 MINI Cooper E||2024 MINI Cooper SE|
|Battery Pack Capacity||40.7 kWh||54.2 kWh|
|Power||135 kW (181 hp)||160 kW (214 hp)|
|Torque||290 Nm (214 lb.-ft.)||330 Nm (243 lb.-ft.)|
|0-62 mph Acceleration Time||7.3 seconds||6.7 seconds|
|Max. AC Charging Power||11 kW||11 kW|
|Lowest AC Charging Time||TBD||TBD|
|Max. DC Charging Power||75 kW||95 kW|
|Lowest DC Charging Time (10-80% SoC)||<30 minutes||<30 minutes|
|Targeted WLTP Range||305 km (190 mi)||402 km (250 mi)|
|Expected EPA-est. Range||~150 mi||~200 mi|
A prototype drive held in Europe for the international media has given fans and prospective buyers a fair idea about how the MINI Cooper drives. The Cooper EV is a lot more fun than the electric hatchback that it’ll replace. The steering is lighter, but there is room for further improvement in sharpness, and engineers say they are working on that. A 0-62 mph in the SE takes just 6.7 seconds, which makes the second-gen MINI EV 0.7 seconds quicker. Needless to say, the JCW following by 2025 will be even quicker.
The new MINI electric car is more confidence-inspiring around the corners, and while most customers won’t go about driving it like a hooligan on a track or care if it drifts, it’s worth noting it has the soul of a true MINI even though it doesn’t have a combustion engine. There’s plenty of grip and if you don’t want the tail to stick out, it most probably won’t, as the traction and stability control systems are quite good and keep the car steady.
The MINI Cooper electric does allow one-pedal driving, and it can come to a complete stop without needing to engage the friction brakes. EVs typically struggle in giving drivers a natural feeling when they press the brake pedal, but not this MINI. All in all, the upcoming MINI EV has marked improvements in performance and driving dynamics, and we’re certain the finished car will be even better.
Initially, production of the MINI Cooper will take place at a new Chinese plant of Spotlight Automotive Limited, a joint venture between BMW Group and Great Wall Motor. Located in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, this factory will have an annual production capacity of 160,000 units. Series production of the ‘Cooper E’ and ‘Cooper SE’ will begin in November 2023, as per an exclusive MotoringFile story published on February 2, 2023.
From 2026, the BMW Group Plant Oxford (UK) will begin manufacturing the new MINI Cooper. This factory will be responsible for the gas-powered next-gen MINI 2-door (2024), MINI 4-door (2024), and MINI Convertible (2024) as well as the electric-only MINI Aceman (2026).
On March 15, 2023, BMW Group revealed in an investor presentation that the MINI Cooper will arrive (presumably in Europe) in Q4 2023 (October-December 2023). U.S. dealers may receive the redesigned electric hatchback around the same period as the 2024 Fiat 500e – in the first half of 2024.
Handelsblatt published a report on June 11, 2022, claiming that MINI U.S. dealers received a secret preview of the next-gen model in May 2022. The report suggests that they were so impressed with the product that they were willing to pay the import duty that would be levied on it due to its Chinese origin. In its internal discussions, the company is likely concerned about the complicated trade and geopolitical factors between the two countries. From 2026, the U.S. can start sourcing the MINI Cooper from the BMW Group Plant Oxford, as it stands now.
MINI U.S. sales
BMW Group sold 14,869 units of MINI models in the U.S. in the first half of 2023, 23.8% better than in the same period in 2022 (12,007 units). The German automaker hasn’t released the specific sales data of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE for the country. Globally, it delivered 43,744 units of the small electric car in 2022 – 25.5% higher than in 2021. As electric vehicles become increasingly popular, the zero-emissions version of the MINI is set to make a larger contribution to sales in the coming years.
One in five MINI models sold in Europe is all-electric. With a new spacious interior, a punchier powertrain, and a competitive price tag, the MINI Cooper will be truer to the brand’s roots than the current model. While most EV customers in the States prefer bigger cars, mostly SUVs, the 2-door hatch is a novelty that is sure to stand out.
The MINI Electric successor is based on a dedicated EV platform, ensuring significantly more efficient performance and packaging. It builds on the success of the MINI Electric while addressing its primary drawback – limited range.
New MINI Cooper EV FAQs
What is the new MINI Cooper release date?
The MINI Cooper electric should go on sale in the U.S. for the MY2025 model next year.
What will be the all-new MINI Cooper’s price?
The next-gen MINI Cooper’s prices could start at slightly above USD 30,000.
Featured Image Source: BMW Group