MINI Commences Production of Next-Generation Cooper Electric in China
October 17, 2023
MINI has initiated the production of its forthcoming Cooper electric hatchback in Zhangjiagang, China at the Spotlight Automotive plant. This progress comes before the anticipated local release in Q3 of 2024.
The Cooper Electric, constructed on the new Spotlight EV platform, is a collaboration product between BMW and Great Wall Motor (GWM). However, the combustion-engine variant of the Mini Cooper remains in production at Oxford, UK. Furthermore, an enhanced version of this model is projected to debut in 2024. It's also worth noting that Oxford will take on the production of this electric variant by 2026.
Key changes in the Cooper Electric include a broader track, diminished front overhang, enlarged wheels, and an extended wheelbase while maintaining its 3.8 meters in length. MINI anticipates the electric hatch's range to be between 300 to 400 kilometers. Stefanie Wurst, MINI's global head, hinted at the potential of surpassing the 400km mark.
Distinguishing features of the electric hatch include two models with varying specs. The basic E model boasts a 40kWh battery pack combined with a 135kW/290Nm motor. On the other hand, the SE model is equipped with a 54kWh battery and a 160kW/330Nm motor.
Interior upgrades of the new Mini encompass a circular OLED dashboard display operating on OS 9, allowing users to manage primary car functions. Voice commands through "Hey Mini" have been integrated, while tactile elements such as toggle switches persist. Additionally, adjustments have been made to the car's transmission selector, augmenting storage space.
In terms of aesthetics, MINI has infused contemporary elements like ambient lighting, head-up display for the driver, and novel dashboard finishes. The design strives to usher MINI's visual language into a fresh epoch.
Spotlight Automotive, co-owned equally by BMW and GWM, plays a pivotal role in fast-tracking MINI's electrification aspirations. With a yearly production capacity of 160,000 vehicles, the facility is also set to manufacture the electric Aceman crossover alongside the Cooper hatch.
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Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.