New Kid On
The Motoring Block
A whole lot of tomorrow mixed perfectly with the best bits of yesterday. Right here, right now, writes Paul Agnew. Photography: Roger Moore
Say hello to the MINI Electric, the brand-new kid on the motoring block and a car guaranteed to make a major impact during 2020 and beyond.
First off, it’s every bit a MINI. Spirited drive, iconic design, responsive handling, quirky features and heaps of tech.
But the big attraction here, is the fully electric motor which brings a raft of economic and environmental advantages.
And, make no mistake, there are a stack of financial perks with the MINI Electric. The government currently offer £3,500 against a purchase (it’s classed as a low-emission vehicle). Plus, if you’re considering it as a company car, it comes with a BIK (Benefit-in-Kind) tax rate of 0 per cent for 2020-21.
For an on-the-road price starting at £24,400, you get an awful lot of bang for your buck.
However, before adding some flesh to the bones of the well-designed interior and great-looking exterior, let’s concentrate on the electric element, with some reassuring facts for anyone out there who’s still a tad nervous about the concept.
• The distance range (basically how far you can go on a single charge), an impressive 145 miles.
• The cost per mile – just 4p. That’s 2.5 – 6 times cheaper than cars with petrol or diesel engines.
• Battery charging – dead easy, either at home or on the go. Achieve an AC 0-80 per cent home charge in 12 hours (3hrs 12mins with a wallbox) and a DC public rapid charge in 36 minutes.
• Charging stations – always near at hand, around 8,000 available (many across Lancashire) and all of them integrated into the in-built MINI Navigation system.
• Battery life – so good that the manufacturers offer warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles!
You can customise your three-door MINI Electric to satisfy personal taste (did I mention the six handsome colour options available. White, silver, moonwalk grey, Midnight black, British racing green, chilli red and enigmatic black) and choose alternative colours for roof and mirror caps.
The clever engineers have thought through every detail with regard to spec.
Essentially, there’s absolutely nothing standard about the standard model, with MINI navigation, a key feature and a fully digital dashboard (still the famous circular shape) which brings a futuristic feel to the cockpit.
Throw in automatic transmission, front and rear LED lights, cruise control, intelligent emergency call (MINI E-call), DAB digital tuner etc and you can see nothing has been spared.
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. Bold 17” Corona spoke alloys bring a further touch of style.
As for performance, maximum output is 184hp, maximum torque 270 Nm and you can go from 0-37 in under four seconds and from 0-62 in 7.3 seconds. CO2 emissions? Zero.
The drive is fun, easy handling, controlled braking, responsive acceleration and so, so quiet.
In short, it’s impossible not to like the MINI Electric. A serious small car with a funky nature and genuine mass appeal.
It will go far.
Bowker Preston MINI
Channel Way, Ashton-on-Ribble
Preston PR2 2YA