THE MINI Electric lives up to its name in many ways.
The two-door car is indeed mini. And it is electrified and electrifying.
Most electric cars suffer from the silence of delivery. Just like newbies operating golf buggie, videos where lead-footers can’t figure out how they work and wind up in all sorts of comical mishaps, come to mind.
The MINI electric has a similar way of operating. In high energy recovery mode, you can bring the car to a halt by controlling your accelerator. As soon as the foot’s off, the car starts slowing down.
In low energy recovery mode, the deceleration is more like a normal car.
And it does have that instant 270Nm of torque which helps get this $160K* vehicle from standstill to 100kmh in 7.3 seconds.
That’s one of the fun bits about the MINI Electric, other than the yellow highlights on the wing mirrors and grille. In keeping with the original intent of the car, as an urban tool, it does a good job of being considerate to the environment and holding on to the go-kart experience that the original Mini was known for and seems to have lost in some models since BMW took over the brand.
With a high-voltage battery sitting low in the centre of the car, it drops the centre of gravity of the MINI Electric, compared to its petrol relative. This allows for the fun element to work its way into the performance. Already a nippy drive, here, it’s like a ninja, silent but fast and accurate with its handling.
In the small cabin with the oversized central dial, you have another set of figures to take in, mounted on the steering column. And there’s a head up display that pops up.
Connectivity, the big draw these days, is a key MINI Electric feature. You can access data on the car remotely, via the MINI Connected App, and you can check remotely if you’ve locked the car, or activate ventilation if you’re going to be driving off soon.
There are four modes, with Sport drawing heavily on the juices while Green and Green+ have maximum environmental consciousness and recall the old Minis which had no air-conditioning. These modes are useful if you’re running out of charge and aren’t sure if you have what it takes to get you to a charging unit, where you can power up from between 35 minutes and 3.5 hours.
With a top speed capped at 150kmh, and a full battery charge delivering 270km, what’s on offer in the MINI Electric is more than adequate for the urbanite who wants something smart that does not look like any of those midget electric vehicles.
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