A new Mini Cooper Electric was spotted in China on a trailer, and CarNewsChina obtained the pictures. The small hatchback is manufactured by a joint venture between Great Wall Motor (GWM) and BMW. It will be exported to international markets, where deliveries will start in early 2024.
The EVs on the trailer are most likely demo cars on their way to Chinese dealers and show the 3-door hatchback in classic blue and a fancy yellow.
The first Mini Cooper rolled off the assembly line on October 18 in Spotlight Automotive’s in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province, about one-hour drive north-west from Shanghai. Spotlight Automotive was founded in 2019 as a joint venture between GWM and BMW with a registered capital of 1.7 billion yuan. And BMW and GWM each hold 50%. The plant started construction in 2020 and was finished two years later.
The plant has a capacity of 160,000 vehicles per year. According to the plan, two pure electric Mini models, including a new three-door Mini Cooper and a new Mini compact crossover will be produced there for international and domestic markets.
There are two versions of the new Mini Cooper Electric, called the E and the SE. The E is entry-level and has a 40.7kWh battery and 135 kW motor, while the SE has a 54.2kWh battery and 160 kW motor.
The SE has a 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time of 6.7 seconds, and the maximum cruising range is 402 km (WLTP). 11 kW AC slow charging and 95 kW DC fast charging are supported.
Mini Cooper is underpinned by an electric platform jointly developed by GWM and BMW. BMW couldn’t choose a better partner for Mini as GWM is also the owner of the ORA brand, which focuses on small electric hatchbacks. One of them – ORA Funky Cat (Good Cat in China), is already selling in Germany and other European countries.
The electric Mini Cooper was first spotted without camo in December 2021 in China on the GWM parking lot as the guys conducting a test drive forgot to cover the car.
Mini’s strategy is to become a fully electric brand in the 2030s, and the goal is to reach 50% electric sales by 2027. Also, Mini committed to stopping launching new ICE models after 2025.