The new MINI Cooper goes for a minimalist approach. The exterior is smooth and unfussy –there’s a new octagonal grille below circular headlamps (with a choice of light signatures) and new triangular tail lamps. The design stays true to the MINI ethos of short bonnet, short overhangs and long wheelbase, with a floating contrast roof and blacked-out window pillars. But for the latest model it’s reduced to its simplest, sleekest form. Inside, there’s a 24cm round central screen and a tactile, knitted fabric dashboard made of recycled polyester. There’s a 211-litre boot than can extent to 731 litres with the rear seats down.


The MINI Cooper Electric E has a 40.7kWh battery and a 184hp electric motor, giving it a range of 190 miles and a 0-62mph acceleration time of 7.3 seconds. Alternatively, the MINI Cooper Electric SE gets a bigger, 54.2kWh battery and a 218hp motor, for a benchmark 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.7 seconds and a range of 250 miles. Being electric, acceleration and throttle response are instant, and with the battery weight mounted low in the platform handling is agile and eager – go-kart like, in MINI language.


The all-new 24cm OLED display makes full use of the circular format now – no more ‘letterbox’ navigation displays – and offers eight different experience modes, including Core, Green, Go-Kart, Personal, Vibrant, Timeless and Balance. Each one has its own graphic display and can be linked to ambient colour schemes, with patterns projected onto the fabric dash. Sounds complicated, looks amazing. MINI’s new operating system 9 provides simple touch operation and benefits include cloud-based MINI Navigation that will calculate your route to include charging stops, along with high-speed connectivity and optional 5G capability. A “Hey MINI” voice command function offers you a choice of personal assistants – a stylised MINI or Spike the British bulldog.


Parking Assistant comes as standard and identifies potential parking spots, and then manoeuvres into the one you select at the press of a button. The optional Driving Assistant Plus package includes Active Cruise Control and Lane Change Warning, and if the MINI Cooper senses a fast-approaching vehicle from the rear, it automatically activates the hazard flashers at double frequency. Another option, Remote 360, allows you to view the surroundings of the parked vehicle remotely via the MINI App, while a camera in the inside provides a view of the interior.