Sadly we could not make this weekend’s Formula E event and thus missed out on our chance to take the MINI Cooper SE out for a quick spin. Luckily Autocar was there and has some initial impressions.

Mini Cooper SE
Mini Cooper SE

The instant torque offered by an electric motor makes for rapid progress at all speeds, while BMW’s new ARB traction control system ensures that delivery is kept smooth. With its capability to make rapid progress, it definitely has an air of Mini Cooper S about it.

The steering is also pleasing direct, the machine responding well to rapid direction changes and betraying little signs of the extra weight of the batteries contained low down in the car. It rides well, too, soaking up the many bumps and rough surfaces that feature on a street circuit laid out on the ageing roads of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

It didn’t feel quite as direct or nimble as the smaller Honda E did from our brief time in a prototype version of that car, although the Mini Electric is bigger and more practical, and could perhaps prove more versatile beyond tight city streets.

It will take a longer run on real-word roads to truly judge the Mini Electric, but what’s clear is that everything customers like about the hatch – from the retro styling to the nimble handling – hasn’t been harmed by the switch to an electric powertrain. In some cases, it has arguably been improved.

Read the full article at Autocar.