Mini touts new EV’s might by towing… a Boeing 777F?
We’ve known for a while that BMW would start making a series-production, electrically-powered version of the Mini, the Cooper SE, later this year. In the ramp up to the launch of Mini’s first mass produced BEV, the brand demonstrated some of the little car’s capabilities by using it to haul a Lufthansa Cargo 150-ton Boeing 777F freight aircraft around the Frankfurt airport.
The Mini EV borrows the 181-horsepower, 199-lb. ft. electric motor from the BMW i3, and according to what BMW engineers told Autocar in January, the electric Mini will get a larger version of the i3’s battery pack, giving the Cooper SE about 200 miles of range. Don’t expect much more range than that, however, as the press release emphasizes “mobility in the urban environment” and “city traffic.”
While a limited run of 450 lease-only electric Minis that BMW made back in 2009 was focused on energy efficiency, the new battery-powered Mini is being marketed as a performance car. A 45-second commercial—which shows the little car, vinyl wrapped in an electric plug motif camo, towing the big plane—is the first of a series of social media videos produced to show the Mini Cooper SE in action.
The Cooper S branding is appropriate, as the electric Mini is rated just 8 horsepower less than the gasoline-powered Cooper S. BMW thus refers to the Mini Cooper SE that towed the big jet as a “muscle car.” (Somehow we doubt that.) No mechanical details were announced, but with the Cooper S branding we can presume that the car will also have suspension and braking upgrades.
Production of the Mini Cooper SE begins in November 2019, at BMW’s Oxford, UK, assembly plant. As yet, BMW has not announced in which global markets it will sell the small BEV, or how much it will cost.