MAKE THE SWITCH
The new MINI Electric is very much a car for today, bringing with it a raft of economical and environmental advantages, writes Paul Agnew. Photography: Roger Moore
The MINI is a British icon. Not a claim, a statement of fact. Its place – not only in motoring folklore but also in the hearts of our car-loving nation – is forever guaranteed.
But for all that enduring popularity over so many decades, the MINI has never been afraid of change or challenge, or resisted the opportunity to gear up. Hence the MINI Electric.
Combining the very best bits of yesterday, this is a car very much for today with more than an eye on tomorrow.
The latest version comes complete with a visual facelift, including a smart new front grille, re-designed front and back bumpers, soft-feel steering wheel, rear fog lights, improved LED headlights and interior lighting, an 8.5 inch touchscreen as standard – the list goes on.
Every bit a MINI in terms of looks, style and handling, the MINI Electric also brings a raft of economical and environmental advantages thanks to the ultra-efficient, fully-electric motor and a boot crammed with financial perks.
An HM Government Plug-In grant of £2,500 is one such example and company car users can benefit from a BIK tax rating of just one per cent.
Although ‘electric cars’ are no longer strangers on our roads, there remains a degree of nervousness about the concept from those yet to convert. To provide reassurance, particularly concerning ‘range anxiety’, let’s focus on some hard facts:
• DISTANCE RANGE: In short, how far can you go on a single charge? A very impressive 145 miles.
• CHARGING (RUNNING) COST: Would you believe 4p per mile? And that is two to four times cheaper than cars with petrol or diesel engines.
• BATTERY CHARGING: Simple and straightforward, either at home or on the go. Achieve an AC 0-80 per cent home charge in 12 hours (three hours 12 minutes with a wallbox) and a DC public rapid charge in as little as 36 minutes.
• CHARGING STATIONS: You’ll never be stuck with around 9,000 stations available (many across Lancashire), all of them integrated into the in-built MINI navigation system.
• LIFE OF BATTERY: So good that the manufacturers offer warranty for EIGHT years or 100,000 miles!
• SERVICING: From as little as £10 per month, you can completely remove the uncertainty often associated with servicing costs. You will also receive added extras including fluid top-ups, one MOT, wash and vac every time, seasonal health checks and sat nav map updates.
• PERFORMANCE: No problems here either. A car that’s all torque, as well as action, produces a maximum output of 184hp and a maximum torque 270 Nm. You can zip from 0-37 in under four seconds and from 0-62 in 7.3 seconds. CO2 emissions? Zero.
Okay, let’s get down to a bit of detail about the car itself. Depending upon your budget you can enjoy a range of equipment highlights right through to the top-end ‘Collection’ which boasts a gallery of unique features such as 17” spoke alloy wheels and exterior graphics.
It’s also only the MINI Electric which includes new exterior paint colours, perfectly partnered with multi-tone roof and Piano Black exterior. The interior design complements the stunning exterior thanks to sport seats upholstered with cloth/leatherette in Black Pearl/Light Grey and aluminium trim.
If you are happy to go with standard then standard is very, very good.
MINI Navigation remains a key feature and a fully-digital dashboard (still the famous circular shape) brings a futuristic feel to the cockpit. When you need helpful information when driving, then here it is, just a finger tap away.
Not to overlook automatic transmission, cruise control, intelligent emergency call (MINI E-call), DAB digital tuner, Apple CarPlay, electric parking brake, Mini e-badge, rain sensor and automatic headlight activation.
At levels two and three, you will also discover front distance control, rear-view camera, heated front seats, front centre armrest, Harman Kardon hi-fi system, head-up display, panoramic glass sunroof and parking assistant.
Whichever model you choose, the MINI Electric is certain to impress. So don’t delay, get a handle on the future and take the next step with confidence.
Bowker Preston MINI
Channel Way, Ashton-on-Ribble
Preston PR2 2YA