The design of the J01 2025 electric MINI Cooper SE has been an open secret since the near final car was leaked in 2020 via Chinese sources. Today we have an entirely new and even more revealing look snapped at a marketing photoshoot in California. What does it show? Let’s dive in.
What these photos show is a J01 MINI Cooper SE finished in Indigo Sunset Blue and 18” Night Flash Spoke 2-tone wheels. It’s a classic combo of blue and white that harkens back to the early 60’s which we absolutely love.
The design itself is generally what we expected based on all the spy shots. Head of MINI Design Oliver Hiemler had told us to expect minimalism and simplicity and that’s what we have. There is almost a stark minimalism compared to what we’ve seen over the last decade. In short there’s no faux vents or busy creases to be found. In fact there’s really not a single design elements that doesn’t have purpose functionally. That in itself is a massive departure from most modern MINI’s save the original R50.
The front overhang is regrettably still large despite the fact that this is 100% a EV. You’d think MINI would have been able to package the small electric motor back far enough to allow for the impact zone to be further set-back. Alas that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Yet there’s a lot to like. What we see here are the standard lights and not the adaptive LEDs that will be optional. The lights are small as is the entire scale of the front-end. While it’s hard to tell without the F56 (or forthcoming F66 next to it), the J01 seen here has smaller features and we’re told feels a bit more subtle than the current MINI. Also note the large, centrally located radar module there to support L2 autonomy features.
Since this isn’t a US spec car (those be coming until at least the 2027 LCI) there aren’t even side reflectors here. In fact the only design element on the side of the car (save the recessed door handle which we’ll all hate) is the tiny turn signal light on the mirror. Otherwise what we see is a simple and modern shape devoid of even the black plastic wheel arches we’ve come to know since the R50. Does the modern MINI work without those wheel arches? As long as the wheels are at least 17″ we think so. Luckily MINI agrees and there will only be 17″ and 18″ wheels offered.
Around back things get funky. For us that’s a good thing but we’re sure more than a few of you won’t like the departure. 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. Does it work and do you mind the radical departure from MINIs past? Let us know below.
2025 MINI Cooper SE Range & Performance
The all new electric MINI Cooper will come in two flavors; the Cooper E and the Cooper SE. The E will have a 40kWh battery driving the front wheels and should see a range of around 200 miles on the WTLP testing cycle. The Cooper SE (also FWD) will have a larger 54kWh battery and should see a 240 mile range with WTLP testing. Our sources have told us that these figures are relatively conservative (as is BMW’s typical position). An important note for those comparing this to the current electric MINI hatch – that car has a 110 mile range and a 28.9kWh battery.
|2025 J01 MINI Cooper E||2025 J01 MINI Cooper SE||2023 F56 MINI Cooper SE|
|Horsepower||181 hp||215 hp||181 hp|
|Range||200 miles (WLTP)||240 miles (WLTP)||125 miles (WLTP|
|Battery Size||40kWh||54kWh||32.6 kWh|
Performance is also up with the Cooper E offering 181bhp – similar to the traditional Cooper S performance. The hotter Cooper SE will have 215bhp and should have JCW levels of performance.
While we’ve heard MINI is developing a full JCW version, Autocar has a few new details. According to the publication it will feature the same 54kWh battery as the SE, will arrive in mid-2025 – around a year after the standard cars, with a focus on power over range, suggesting upgraded motors will be fitted. Expect an output around 250bhp.
How Big is the J01 2025 MINI Cooper SE?
Despite this clean-sheet design MINI kept the overall size extremely close to the current F56 MINI Cooper – and in fact went about 1.5? longer overall. It’s also almost an inch taller – likely due to the batteries sitting across the entire floor. However the key thing for the classic MINI Cooper are the dimensions. Here’s a quick view of how it stacks up against the last two generations of MINIs
|R56 MINI Cooper||F56 ICE MINI Cooper||J01 2025 Electric MINI Cooper|
|Length||3698 mm / 145.6 in||3850 mm / 151.57 in||3860 mm / 151.91 in|
|Height||1407 mm / 55.4 in||1414 mm / 55.67 in||1435 mm / 56.49 in|
|Wheelbase||2467 mm / 97.1 in||2495 mm / 98.23 in||2525 mm / 99.40|
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? Luckily MINI now has a strategy in place.
BMW is to secure UK production for the all new J01 electric MINI Cooper. We first reported the rumors of BMW building the J01 in Oxford last fall. But since that time there appears to be multiple points of confirmation that point to China being only one part of the production strategy. And perhaps more importantly the move would clear the way for the all new J01 electric MINI Cooper to eventually come to the North American market.
Recently Sky News reported that BMW has secured UK government funding to help expand the Oxford Plant for the new range of electric MINIs. While an official announcement won’t likely come until late this spring, it’s believed that the investment package will be worth close to £500m – £75m of which would be from the UK Government.
Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI, has previously hinted that some new generation electric MINIs will be assembled at Plant Oxford beginning in 2027. We’ve also had a source confirm that timing saying it would coincide with a refresh of the model planed in the middle of its lifecycle. This would make it an ideal time to refine the J01 and introduce it to North America, perhaps even with more range and performance.
J01 2025 MINI Cooper SE Launch Dates
The J01 MINI Cooper will debut at the Munich Motorshow this September. While production was to start later this year in China, rumors are pointing to it being delayed until May of 2024. Once it does start, expect sales to begin in the UK, Europe and Asia shortly after. As we mentioned above, expect a refreshed version to hit North America and other markets in 2027 and be made in the UK.
|J01 MINI Cooper (BEV) / China||Start of Production|
|J01 MINI Cooper E||05/2024|
|J01 MINI Cooper SE||05/2024|
|J01 MINI Cooper JCW*||TBD|
For much more on the all new J01 electric MINI Cooper, head over to MotoringFile’s dedicated J01 section.
Important note: we don’t reproduce commercial spy photos that we don’t have the rights for. However it’s unclear where these photos originally came from as we’ve heard from some sources that they originally appeared on social medial. We’ve reproduced a few of them here but to see all of them head over to our friends at Autoblog to take a look. But make you head back here for all the exclusive details you won’t get anywhere else.