2024 ENTERTAINING Mini Cooper SE examination – novel Chinese-made EV Mini Hatch exhibits almost dual range, but is it less thrilling?

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By Car Brand Experts


2024 Mini Cooper SE examination – novel Chinese-made EV Mini Hatch exhibits almost dual range, but is it less thrilling?
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The introduction of the latest MINI Cooper S in Malaysia may already be visible, but it is merely an upgraded model of the previous petrol-driven F56. The future direction of the German-owned British marque is electric, a notion it clearly conveyed with the revelation of an all-new, all-electric MINI Cooper last year.

Scheduled to debut in Malaysia this weekend, the J01 represents a fresh era for MINI Hatch. Developed in collaboration with GWM and assembled at a new factory in Zhangjiagang, China, it harbors numerous first-in-brand innovations beneath its distinctively retro appearance.

2024 Mini Cooper SE examination – novel Chinese-made EV Mini Hatch exhibits almost dual range, but is it less thrilling?
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The revamped design showcases a more minimalistic approach, a refreshing departure from the overly embellished predecessors of the vehicle. Instead of features like a clamshell bonnet, front fender “scuttles,” chrome accents, and black plastic wheel arches, you now have customizable daytime running lights within the hallmark circular headlights and matrix LED taillights offering three distinct lighting patterns.

A significant interior transformation can be observed, with the consolidation of MINI Hatch’s various displays and toggle switches into a striking 9.2-inch OLED round touchscreen, powered by the latest Android-based MINI Operating System 9. The upholstery presents fabric trim, warm metallic gold accents, and engaging pattern projectors behind the central screen, elevating the interior’s funky contemporary aesthetics.

2024 Mini Cooper SE examination – novel Chinese-made EV Mini Hatch exhibits almost dual range, but is it less thrilling?
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The preceding MINI Cooper SE might have been restricted by its gasoline-based structure, offering insufficient range beyond the city. However, this latest model is a game-changer. The top-tier SE variant showcased here features a 54.2kWh battery that offers nearly double the range, reaching up to 402 km according to the WLTP standards. Despite a boost in power, with its single front motor delivering 218 PS (160 kW) and 330 Nm of torque, enabling acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds.

With increased range and advanced technology, has the complete transition to electric propulsion compromised Oxford’s renowned kart-like driving dynamics? This is the question Hafriz Shah set out to investigate through his testing of the vehicle in Sitges, Spain. You can view his assessment in the video below.

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