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MINI marks 60th birthday with a twist

 Published 29th July 2019
New Launches 

When the original Mini rolled off the production line in the summer of 1959 it was as a direct result of the Suez oil crisis and the demand for affordable motoring. Exactly 60 years on and the latest MINI to enter production in Oxford bears the hallmarks of those same demands, albeit with a 21st century twist.

Today the demand still remains for affordable, economical motoring but our concerns now lie in other directions. We're not worried so much about the shortage of oil, but rather whether we should be burning the stuff in the first place. Which is why this particular brand new MINI is electric.

The MINI Electric is based on the same body as the three door hatchback version with a few minor differences. The hexagonal front grille is now closed off and features a new MINI Electric logo which also appears on the sides and tailgate.

Turn to the petrol filler cap and this has been replaced with a charging socket and there are a few options specific to the electric version. Other than that it's almost identical to the rest of the range. It even manages to retain the same boot space despite this usually being the first thing to suffer in the search for battery space.

MINI electric interior

The battery pack is laid out in a T-shape along the centre of the car and under the rear seats and the lithium-ion cells produce a respectable 32kWh. This powers a 184bhp electric motor that can accelerate the MINI to 60mph in around 7 seconds, although the top speed is limited to 93mph, no doubt to maximise the range of the batteries.

One of the four switchable driving modes, Green +, even deactivates some functions such as the air conditioning in order to save power and increase range. The reported range is between 120 and 140 miles so the MINI Electric should be good for all but the longest journeys, although a rapid charge can get you back on the road in around 35 minutes so there's time to grab a coffee and stretch your legs but not enough to have you tearing your hair out in frustration.

Aside from the environmental benefits the MINI Electric offers another bonus for drivers. With all the weight buried beneath the floor, reduced weight over the front wheels, and new suspension specifically designed for the car, the MINI Electric takes the legendary go-kart handling to new levels. Closing off the front grille and covering up the underside has also improved aerodynamic efficiency too. It may not be the fastest thing on the road but the new MINI Electric promises to be a highly enjoyable driving experience. As any MINI should be.

MINI Electric Hatch charger

Inside it's also very MINI-like with the exception of the new digital dashboard. This features a 5.5-inch screen behind the steering wheel with your speed shown at the centre in figures as well as information on the charge level of the battery, the selected MINI Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and check control messages. In addition, details of the available range, current drive power, outside temperature, time and mileage are displayed, with traffic sign detection reports and directions from the navigation system also shown.

The new MINI Electric is available in three trim levels and with a host of options to personalise your car. Production is due to begin in the next few months with the first models being delivered in March 2020. All of which means the sooner you call us the sooner we can get your MINI Electric lease car ordered and the sooner you'll be driving around in your brand new 21st century MINI.

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Keywords: MINI, electric, green, hatchback, 32kWh, 184bhp electric motor, 120 and 140 miles electric mile range, 0-60mph in 7 seconds, charging socket, march 2020,business, contract hire, personal, business, market leading offers, gateway2lease

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