China-made Mini Cooper EV from BMW-GWM JV reached dealers in China

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The new electric Mini Cooper (see specs) from BMW and Great Wall Motor (GWM) reached dealerships in China ahead of the official launch. The China-made EV has a length of 3858 mm, up to 456 km range, and 214 hp. It will start sales on July 6 with a price range of 210,000 – 270,000 yuan (28,900 – 37,150 USD).

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The Mini Cooper EV hit production in China in October 2023

The new electric Mini Cooper is made in China by a 50-50 joint venture between BWM and GWM established in 2019. Its name is Spotlight Automotive. The electric Mini Cooper became the first product from this JV. However, the future of Spotlight Automotive is foggy thanks to the US and EU tariffs, the postponement of the UK ban on the sale of ICE cars, and adjustments in Chinese OEM policy. Anyway, the new Mini Cooper EV is finally ready to enter the Chinese market.

Mini Cooper EV at dealers

The new Mini Cooper was seen at dealers in a cool yellow body color. The car follows the brand’s distinguishing design language with round headlights, an oval-shaped grille, and a well-recognizable silhouette. Other features of the Mini EV appearance are flush door handles and blackened pillars. From the back, it has funky headlights joined by a glossy black element with a “Cooper” inscription.

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The spotted car adopts seven-spoke R17 rims with 205/50 Goodyear tires. The China-made Mini has two more wheel options: 195/60 R16 and 225/40 R18. Dimensions of the new Mini Cooper EV are 3858/1756/1458 mm with a wheelbase of 2526 mm. For clarity, it is 18 mm shorter, 29 mm wider, and 44 mm higher than the Mini 3D Hatch.

Inside, the Mini Cooper EV follows the brand’s funky styling with a large circular OLED screen on the center console. The diameter of this monitor reaches 9.5 inches (240 mm). It runs on Mini OS 9. The Mini EV hasn’t got a conventional dashboard. Instead, it has a heads-up display, which sits behind a three-spoke steering wheel. The gear shifter and power switch of the electric Mini Cooper sits in the center console.

The spotted variant of the Mini Cooper EV is the E model. It has a Bosch-made electric motor for 135 kW (181 hp) powered by a ternary NMC SVOLT battery for 51.5 kWh. It can run up to 456 km on a single charge. There is also an SE model of the Mini Cooper EV that will be available in China. It has a 160-kW (214 hp) e-motor and the same pack.

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Mini Cooper EV sales start

The sales launch of the Mini Cooper is scheduled for July 6. Its price range is said to sit between 210,000 – 270,000 yuan (28,900 – 37,150 USD). The mass production of the Mini Cooper EV started in China in October last year. In January 2024, this model applied for the sales license. And only nine months after the assembly kicked off, the China-made EV is ready to launch domestically. Previously produced cars headed overseas.

Worth noting that the price range of the Mini Cooper EV is quite high. For comparison, the bigger SEA-based Smart #1 (see specs) from Geely has a seemingly wider price range of 154,900 – 284,900 yuan (21,300 – 39,200 USD). So, the Mini Cooper EV from Spotlight Automotive will struggle in the highly competitive Chinese market.

Source: Autohome

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