As its name suggests, the SE uses the regular three-door Cooper S as a base, but adds elements from the Electric Concept shown in Frankfurt two years ago which, externally, consists out of a sealed Mini E designated grille with yellow and chrome accents, a mostly covered underside to reduce drag, yellow mirror caps, unique 16-inch Revolite Spoke alloy wheels or optional 17-inch light alloy two-tone Corona Spoke alloys, standard LED headlights and yellow SE badging as well as the Mini E logo on the bootlid.
Inside, the Cooper SE seemingly differs little from the Cooper S, although unique touches include a 5.5-inch display located within the instrument cluster and a Green+ mode as part of the four-mode Mini Driving Modes system with the others being Green, Mid and Sport.
As for equipment, the Cooper SE comes as standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Apple CarPlay and satellite navigation, with the bigger 8.8-inch display with added wireless smartphone charging being optional, dual-zone climate control whose heat pump uses outside air and waste heat from the electric motor and battery to warm the cabin, and a new Dynamic Stability Control system designed to handle the instant power of the electric motor.
Like the standard Cooper and Cooper S, the SE can optionally be equipped with a choice of four interior and exterior packs bringing their own assortment of trim pieces; Trim S, Trim M, Trim L and Trim XL.
In S guise, the Cooper SE comes decked out in two colours; White Silver Metallic and Moonwalk Silver Metallic, while the M and L can also be had in Chili Red, Midnight Black Metallic and British Racing Green Metallic. On top of these, the XL’s colour palette includes Enigmatic Black.
Inside, both the S and M come with the standard 6.5-inch infotainment system, while the L and XL have the 8.8-inch system. Regardless of trim, all come with the Double Stripe Carbon Black fabric as standard, though the M and L have the Black Pearl and Cross Punch Carbon Black leather and fabric finish as standard. On the XL, the Mini Yours Lounge Carbon Black leather upholstery is selected.
Powering the Cooper SE, the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Cooper S has been dropped in favour of a 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that develops 135kW/270Nm. Despite tipping the scales at 1 365 kg, 145 kg more than the equivalent Cooper S Steptronic, the Cooper SE will complete the 0-100 km/h sprint in 7.3 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 150 km/h.
According to Mini, the Cooper SE has a range of 235 to 270 km on a single charge, and be charged up to 80% in two-and-a-half hours using the optional Mini Electric Wallbox. Charging it from the same unit to 100% will take a further hour, while using a 50 kW charging station will result in a flat to 80% capacity in a claimed 35 minutes.
Although no pricing has been revealed, BMW South Africa has confirmed that the Cooper SE will be made available in limited numbers from 2021.