The all new 2025 electric MINI Cooper will usher in a new era for the brand as its first electric vehicle on a dedicated electric platform. Unlike the current MINI Cooper SE which was built on an existing ICE chassis, this new electric MINI will be designed from the ground up to be an electric car which will allow for improved performance, range and more MINI-like proportions. However until now we didn’t know MINI’s timing for its launch. Thanks to some of our trusted sources, we can now bring you a full view of not just the car, but when it will go into production.
While we believe the J01 will eventually see production in the UK (around 2027), at launch it will exclusively be built in China for global export. The beginning of production is scheduled for November 2023 for both the Cooper E and faster Cooper SE variants. That should see a European market launch of early 2024. While there’s still a lot of question around the J01 coming to the US at launch (we’ll talk more about that in a minute), the earliest we’d see it in North American would be spring of 2024.
|J01 MINI Cooper (BEV) / China||Start of Production|
|J01 MINI Cooper E||11/2023|
|J01 MINI Cooper SE||11/2023|
|J01 MINI Cooper JCW*||TBD|
The 2024 Electric MINI Cooper (J01) Range & Performance
What makes the J01 Cooper such a massive car for MINI is that it’s the brand’s first electric vehicle on a dedicated electric platform. Unlike the current MINI Cooper SE which was built on an existing ICE chassis, this new electric MINI will be designed from the ground up to be an electric car which will allow for much improved performance and range. How improved?
According to sources, the entry level electric MINI Cooper will launch with a 40kWh battery (compared to 28.9kWh in the current Cooper SE) combined with an electric engine producing around 180 hp. That should give the car a range between 180 and 200 miles depending on how it’s measured. That would be a dramatic increase over the current 110 range from the F56 based Cooper SE. And that’s the initial release so there’s surely more to come.
The 2025 Electric MINI Cooper (J01) – The Return of the Minimal Interior
The other major step MINI is taking here is with the interior experience. Gone is the retro-futuristic details that have been part of MINIs for two decades. In their place is a clean, minimal aesthetic that harkens back to the original 1959 Mini. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a massive technology upgrade. L1 and L2 autonomy features and a massive circular screen will be major additions as well a revised heads-up-display. The instrument cluster remains but will see the physical dials turn entirely into a screen.
In the center of it all is a massive, circular OLED display that will house everything from navigation to heating and cooling controls. Like other manufacturers, MINI will move a handful of traditional physical controls to the screen in an effort to simplify the interior and allow for more flexibility in functionality. While we have some concerns about usability of a move like this (a similar move in BMWs has been seen as a step backward) MINI has the luxury of seeing the where other automakers have taken missteps and might adjust accordingly.
The 2025 Electric MINI Cooper – An Evolutionary Design
The proportions are the first thing you notice when you see the new J01 MINI Cooper from the top. The hood is shrunk and the cabin now makes up a larger percent of the total car. It’s a move made possible by using a fully electric platform with an engine a fraction of the size of even the 1.5L 3 cylinder found in the current Cooper.
The proportions are right. That was our first thought when we first laid eyes on the J01. Even the belt-line to wheel ratio seems better judged than the current F56 generation of cars. The lights are also a big focus in the new car. While MINI has tried to hide the lights and the horizontal bar that dissects them – it’s clearly visible as is the dual LED design. Also visible is that the next generation light enclose will be smaller given that MINI is trying to hide its size by using the current dimensions as camo.
Around back things get a bit more revolutionary. That cut line around the taillights indicates an extra wide opening which should allow for easier loading. Those taillights we see on the test cars are completely fake as you can see the completely uncovered final version above.
MINI is leaning into digital customization inside and outside – specifically with these new taillights. Leveraging LED technology, an owner of the new J01 (or F66) Cooper can change how their front and rear lights look when on and active. Want Union Jack tail lights? Or how about something more minimal? MINI will offer a number of different designs that will help owners differentiate their cars.
Will the 2025 Electric MINI Cooper (J01) Come to the US?
Given that the J01 is made in China, it will see a 25% tariff added to it. That’s a massive amount for a small car intended to be affordable. How could MINIUSA overcome the 25% tariff on a small car with razor thin margins? There are several scenarios. The first (and the only one discussed publicly) would be to combine a slightly higher price with a reduction in dealer margin to make the car (slightly) profitable. The rational would be to build the brand’s EV credentials in the near term.
But why can’t MINI simply move all production to the UK? It’s coming, but not right away. Given the thousands of components in the car (many Chinese), a move like that would be incredibly hard from a supply chain perspective. It would also not solve the tariff issues given those Chinese components would still be affected. Hence the time it will take to make such a dramatic move.
If we’re read between the lines, we believe MINI is working on several strategies in parallel to keep the latest MINI products in the US market. The first would be to use several economic levers to make the next generation (Chinese made) electric MINI Cooper financially viable in the US. The second is to begin a parallel sourcing of components (along with what could be a mid-cycle refresh) to bring these next generation cars to Oxford to be produced in MINI’s historical home.
The last point would be critical if MINI wants to transition entirely to electric cars by the early 2030s. They’ll need to solve these issues sooner later, why not solve both problems at once and have the J01 and J05 (Aceman) be made in England paving the way for their successors around 2030?
The J01 is the most revolutionary car from MINI certainly since the R50 and arguably since the original 1959 Mini. It represents a clean-sheet design that takes advantage of the benefits of an EV architecture to deliver an even more mini-like experience. In many ways the all new electric MINI Cooper will be the most direct link to the original since the last one rolled off the line in 2000.