As mainstream customers enter the electric vehicle market, they are focusing on the same things that have mattered them in the past — styling, quality, reliability, safety, technology — according to the latest annual study of EV owners by J.D. Power.
BMW is moving ahead with the all-electric MINI Cooper SE Convertible, claiming it to be the world’s first locally emission-free premium convertible in the small car segment.
From April 2023, the MINI Cooper SE Convertible will be available in Europe in a limited number of 999 vehicles.
“Three years ago we launched the all-electric MINI Cooper SE, and today one in five MINI sold in Europe is an all-electric MINI. This success has spurred us to implement the small series of the MINI Cooper SE Convertible within only a few months. I’m delighted that we can offer 999 MINI customers an extraordinary and exclusive open-air go-kart feeling,” says Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI Brand.
Admittedly, a small platform means less space for batteries and so the range of the following cars will never match the potential of larger alternatives. But a small battery also means a lower asking price, and if we’re talking about urban runabouts that do only the occasional longer journey, it’s arguable just how many owners would need more than, say, 180 miles of driving range.
Mini’s all-important third-generation Countryman, which will play a crucial role in the brand’s pure-electric reinvention, has broken cover on public roads for the first time.
Due in 2023, the big-selling crossover will join the closely related BMWX1 in being offered with a choice of pure-electric and combustion powertrains, and will be built on the same line as its X1 sibling in Leipzig, Germany. The current-generation Countryman is made in the Netherlands under contract by VDL Nedcar.
The SUV duo will move across to an evolved version of the front-driven UKL architecture that underpins the current models. Called FAAR, it can accommodate pure-combustion, hybrid and all-electric powertrains and will provide the basis for the successors to most of the BMW Group’s compact models.
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