According to our sources and now Autocar, MINI is positioning it’s 2020 electric MINI has a performance minded hot hatch. This is rather unique in the marketplace and should set the electric MINI apart from most of its competition.

This intent has been known for awhile but Autocar has a few more details through their sources. While they’re not details we have confirmed yet they are tantalizing. For one we’ve heard for some time that the name of the car will be the Mini Cooper E. Autocar believes that the performance levels of the car will justify a Cooper S moniker. Thus the name will be the MINI Cooper S E.

As we know the car will be based on the current (UKL) MINI hatch and modified to accept batteries in the center and rear of the car. We also know that MINI will be using the BMW i3s 181 hp powertrain (which we tested last year) and offers 11 hp than the standard i3.

2020 Electric MINI
2020 Electric MINI

2020 Electric MINI – Performance

According to sources of ours that have driven the car its performance is somewhat surprising and definitely addicting. The instant and abundant torque of the electric engine is help alleviate the added weight of the batteries giving the car a more performance feel. This should result in similar 0-60 times than the current Cooper S.

We expect the battery packs and electric engine to add 600-800 pounds to the 2600 lbs curb weight of the F56. BMW has a long history of being able to mask weight with proper suspension tuning but that will be a tough hurdle to overcome. In our review of the original MINI E, the added weight was immediately recognizable yet it didn’t kill the MINI experience in terms of handling.

Electric MINI E

2020 Electric MINI – The Range Question

Autocar is quoting sources as saying the MINI Cooper E S will see a 200 mile range. We think that’s pretty optimistic given the i3 (which will surely be a lighter car with at least an equivalent battery count) got only about 120 miles in real world testing. 200 miles might be possible if MINI is using a newer battery technology like Samsung’s new Low Height Pack 125-Ah cells to allow for more density. We also know that 200 miles plus was the original intent of the project so there’s a change that BMW might have found a way. Here’s the hoping.

Electric MINI E
The original MINI E with plenty of batteries and no rear seats.

In terms of charging we know that BMW and MINI will adopt 150kW charging in the future. This would allow for a dramatically quicker charge than an existing i3 (or equivalent electric vehicles) when paired with quick charge stations. However we don’t expect this to be ready in time for the MINI Cooper S E.

Electric MINI

2020 Electric MINI – The Reveal.

MINI is putting an enormous effort into making this first electric MINI something that feels like a reflection of the brand through and through. Making it a performance hot hatch is one aspect of that. Another is the designer which we expect to be very similar to the current model with some specific trim giving the car a unique look.

While it’s too early to talk about pricing, Autocar contemplates it’ll be around the 30,000 GBP mark in the UK. With some fuzzy math (which is the only way to translate costs like that from one market to the next) we could see US pricing near $40k.