With its slightly disappointing specs and fears that it will arrive too late to the electric party, some expected interest in the BMW-owned Mini Electric to remain somewhat tepid. But with over 45,000 prospective buyers already interested in the vehicle before its release next year, it seems like the little car just might take off.
The Mini Electric repackages the BMW i3 front-wheel drive powertrain into the beloved Mini design. Its 135 kW motor puts out 184 hp with a maximum torque of 270 Nm. BMW says that it can go from 0 to 60 kph (37 mph) in 3.9 seconds and 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds.
In terms of range, the Mini Electric’s 32.6 kWh battery is reported to go up to 235 to 270 km (146-168 mi) on a single charge, according to the WLTP cycle. That puts the EPA conversion to about 140 miles.
The urban electric car is anticipated to start at £27,900 in the UK and €32,500 (about $36,400) in Germany, before incentives.
Reservations Have Begun
The new Mini Electric is expected to arrive in dealerships in early 2020. Taking a page from Tesla’s book, BMW is already accepting reservations for the car for customers eager to get their hands on it as soon as it comes out. To secure one of the first rolled out of the factory, potential customers can register on the automaker’s website and put down a deposit, usually about 500 euros. So far reservations are available in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Now, this does not mean that Mini will definitely be selling 45,000 of the electric cars right out of the gates, since not all of the reservations are accompanied by deposits, and those who do pay up can change their minds and get a refund. Especially if delivery takes too long, for example.
Delayed deliveries are certainly a potential problem for a country hurtling towards a “hard Brexit”. In fact, the Mini Electric is scheduled to enter production at Mini’s Oxford plant the day after the country is planning on leaving the EU. “The Brexit is a disruptive factor,” said Elena Eder, Project Manager for the Mini Electric. “It does not affect us; it has been talked about for so long that we are prepared for all eventualities.”