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The BMW group has given the green flag for the development and production of the Mini Rocketman. The Mini Rocketman will be an ultra-compact electric vehicle based on the Rocketman Concept that was first displayed way back in 2011.
This news comes just a couple of days after Mini revealed the Cooper SE which is set to become the first ever all-electric Mini product. Mini started off as a compact economy hatchback produced by the British Motor Corporation in 1959. A decade later, it became an independent marque with products of its own.
It sold very well in the market and also won several significant rallies, the most notable one being the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S were very successful with a peppy little engine and a light body. Fast forward to present day, and you would find that the Cooper and Cooper S are still two of the most fun-to-drive cars in their segments.
However, the Mini line-up has grown significantly, boasting of products like the Mini Cooper, Mini Countryman, Mini Clubman, etc, in different segments. Yet, Mini lacked a product that could lead it into the green mobility space. Electric vehicles are the future and Mini needed to develop an electric car if it wanted to stay in the game.
Well, the company has done just that by revealing the Mini Cooper SE. Almost immediately after, the British marque has revealed that a smaller, more compact electric vehicle called the Mini Rocketman would be coming out by 2022.
Mini Cooper SE
The Mini Cooper SE is to all intents and purposes, a Mini Cooper S, albeit with an electric motor instead of a peppy turbo-petrol engine. The Mini Cooper has an iconic design and Mini has chosen to stick with the existing design than go for a new, unique design language. According to Mini, this allows people to relate to the brand in a more effective manner.
However, it does have several small changes that sets it apart from its petrol or diesel-powered siblings. The Mini Cooper SE features a brand new grille with a grey and neon colour theme. Mini has for some reason decided to continue with the hood scoop even though there is no air-intake. It could be used to cool the electric motor though.
It also features neon-coloured mirror housings and an 'E' badge at the rear. The Mini Cooper SE rides on new alloy wheels that will certainly draw attention with their unique design. The electric hatchback comes with AC & DC charging options and the ports for both are located inside the fuel-filler cap.
The rear bumper has been redesigned as it no longer needs to have the twin exhaust outlets. The interiors too have been kept identical to the current Mini Cooper S. The top-spec variant comes with features such as an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, LED Matrix headlamps, a heads-up display, Harman Kardon stereo system, etc.
The electric motor has been taken from the parent company BMW's i3 electric hatchback. It produces a maximum power output of 184bhp and a peak torque output of 270Nm. Power is provided by a 32.6kWh battery. It is a front-wheel-drive configuration and as mentioned earlier is in-line with the current petrol-powered Cooper S' performance.
0-100km/h is done in 7.3 seconds and top speed is limited to 150km/h. Mini claims the Cooper SE will have a range of between 235 to 270 kilometres. The model will be compatible with fast charging and can be charged till 80 percent in just 35 minutes. When a normal charger is used, it takes about 3.5 hours to charge it up fully.
The hatchback also comes with three driving modes - Green, Mid and Sport. The Mini Cooper S will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and production will start in November.
Mini Rocketman EV
The Mini Rocketman EV started off as a concept showcased back in 2011. However, plans to put it into production didn't get the green signal from parent company BMW. It has now received approval for development.
It is expected to go into production by 2022 and will slot under the Cooper SE, which means it will be affordable. The Mini Rocketman EV will be produced in China and exported to other countries. It was originally intended to be built through a platform and engine sharing deal between BMW and Peugeot, but the deal never went through.
It was designed to used small, compact 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Now though, keeping the electric vehicle revolution in mind, the company will be making the car a pure electric model. While the Rocketman is set to be manufactured in China, the Cooper SE will be manufactured at the company's plant in Oxford, England.
Thoughts On Mini Cooper SE & MIni Rocketman Electric Cars Revealed
Mini is an iconic brand for car enthusiasts and is associated with quick, fun-to-drive cars. The shift to electric mobility was to happen at some or the other point in time and Mini has revealed its plans for the same.
Mini has also been very careful to mention that even its electric vehicles will possess the same nimble handling characteristics as its current petrol-powered cars and it is something to look forward to.