Launches & Reviews Review South Africa

Fully electric: The Mini Cooper S

My last experience with a fully electric vehicle (no names mentioned) was not all that good. In fact, that vehicle spent more time at the dealership than in the charging bay, sometimes up to eight hours as the 'fast charge was out of order'. But I am happy to write that I had a better experience with the fully electric Mini Cooper S. The vehicle rolled into my premises ever so quietly. And when I first took it for a test drive, it felt somewhat surreal. No engines sound when you start it up and you just glide away silently and smoothly. The new Mini combines an electrified go-kart feeling with a minimal ecological footprint and continues the success story of the Mini.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj


The fifth generation of the Mini three-door is fully electrically powered and continues the success story of the legendary model. With maximum go-kart feeling, the new Mini Cooper Electric embodies the hallmark brand driving fun of the future. The new edition of the iconic Mini three-door is geared towards electric driving fun and is available at two power levels. With its thrillingly agile drive, the Mini Cooper Electric stands for the locally emission-free premium mobility of the future.

Electric avenue

No, not the song by Eddy Grant. In the new Mini family, full torque is available from the get-go in both the Mini Cooper E with an output of 135kW and the Mini Cooper SE with 160kW. It’s like turning on a light switch. Instant power. It accelerates without delay and without shift interruptions.

The lithium-ion high-voltage battery is installed in the floor of the Mini Cooper Electric for optimum road holding and weight distribution, while also increasing the vehicle’s stability and agility. In this way, Mini redefines the brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling, consistently perpetuating the concept of urban driving fun that has been so successful for more than 60 years.

Unmistakably Mini

The typical appearance of the Mini three-door is characterised by dynamic lines, clear shapes and short overhangs, making the agile four-seater the ideal companion in dense urban traffic. The Mini presents itself with high recognition value and significant advances in the areas of technology, efficiency and power delivery. But while automobiles in almost all vehicle segments are becoming increasingly similar, the Mini three-door has remained both rebel and iconic over all these years.

The typical face of the Mini with the characteristic headlights characterises the purist front and, together with the Union Jack combination rear lamps and stylish side scuttles, stands for expressive design. To this day, the original, with its typical Mini driving pleasure, maximum quality and numerous options for customisation, has a steadily growing fan base worldwide.


As Mini as it can get. Once inside and in the driver’s seat, you are greeted with that circular display screen that gives you all the info you need. But wait, there’s more. Now you see exactly the state of battery charge and more importantly perhaps, the battery range. On the left-hand side, the info reveals your driving pattern.

If you are using 100% power, then you are driving the Mini too fast and this could hamper your range. The Mini seats four very comfortably and another distinction are the piano keys just at the bottom of the centre console, for various functions. I remember those keys from the days when I was a kid and I first hopped into a Mini.


Expect to pay around R700,000 for the Mini Cooper SE, with the usual motor plan.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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