The criticism that Mini received from fans about it being so slow in going electric has apparently given it a strong push when the electrification actually starts. Last month, the British brand has unveiled its all-electric Cooper SE which had been awaited by many people.
The proof that it’s a much awaited model? A large number of reservations have been flowing for the 2020 Mini Cooper SE. Until now, at least there have been 45,000 pre-orders received by the BMW-owned company. This number was revealed by the Mini-e project leader Elena Eder to FAZ newspaper.
The British brand’s first electric car is slated to hit dealerships early next year and the company has opened online ordering for customers who want to get their Cooper SE as soon as it leaves the factory floor. Customers will be asked to pay a deposit to guarantee that they’ll be among the first ones to get the vehicle. In the UK, for instance, the initial fee is £500 or around $605.
It’s a good thing for Mini to see lots of people interested in the new all-electric Cooper SE. But at the moment, these petrolheads are still potential buyers. They can change their minds if they can’t wait for 2020 – for instance – and ask for a refund. So it doesn’t mean that Mini has earned 45,000 sales in the bag.
In addition, the manufacturing process may not be as easy as getting tens of thousands of orders in a short amount of time, given the November 1 schedule for the Cooper SE to be produced at the UK’s Oxford factory. That’s just one day following the country’s plan to leave the EU. Elena Eder doesn’t deny that Brexit is a negative factor, but she says that Mini is ready to face every eventuality.
In the UK, the Mini Cooper SE costs from £27,900; while in Germany, the price starts at €32,500 – all before incentives. The car comes with the identical architecture as internal combustion models, and the styling is also similar. It shares the same 181-hp electric motor with the BMW i3s. The instant torque is rated at 200 lb-ft. The front-wheel drive model packs a 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery good for 146- to 167-mile range.