Getting Started – Convertible Mini Electric: Hair in the Wind and Silence on the Turn

And what if the electric formula is best suited to a convertible? In addition to her silent work, her limited independence is not an obstacle to self-pleasure. In addition, in this Mini SE Cabriolet, the electric goes perfectly with the supposedly sporty character of the machine. Obviously, starting an article at its end spoils the suspense somewhat. But let’s get to know it right away: the ring made at the wheel of this car on a rim near Sintra in Portugal would have convinced the fiercest electric skeptic.

It’s not a fun car to drive, it’s much better: pure fun. It is attached to the floor like a suction cup. Its front end, aided by a more informative thrust than CNN, allows it to be placed to the nearest micron. Its instantaneous torque of 270 Nm revives everything without stopping. But how did the magicians of Munich achieve this result?

Will it ever be made? All this is cause for effort.

The recipe they used to concoct this tiny electric cabinet is ultimately quite simple. To achieve this, all you have to do is make a good choice among the ingredients present, mix everything and serve chilled. Thus, at the base of this car we find all the mechanical part of the Mini SE, the brand’s first electric motor, which in turn caused injury to the engine and batteries that were under the hood of the BMW i3 S. A few cells and the battery involved go from 37.9 kWh to 32.6 kWh.

T-shaped batteries

Why this reduction? For the best, that is, the layout of the cells is T-shaped. They are placed in the central tunnel and under the back seat, which not only provides a balance for the small onion, but, in addition, does not reduce the volume of the trunk. Certainly, with a capacity of 160 liters, we dare not imagine it even smaller. The fault, of course, is with the hood that has to find a good place to stay. Canvas electrically unfolds and folds in 18 seconds at a speed of up to 30 km / h.

Softtop closes in 18 seconds flat.
Softtop closes in 18 seconds flat.

We’ve said it over and over, this electric convertible is a joy to drive, but not for too long. It’s time to play with this karting, to engage in mode B, which allows you to recharge (a little) and save (a lot) of brakes, and you should already think about calling the party, because the autonomy does not exceed 230 km. If you are a player behind the wheel and stick to the tempting “sport” mode, it will be significantly reduced. You will have to wait 35 minutes if you are lucky enough to recharge it on a 50 kW station and 3 hours 10 if you are satisfied with a small 7.4 kW station to achieve the same result.

Four people in the passenger compartment.
Four people in the passenger compartment.
The center screen is similar to the Mini . screen
The center display is similar to the “classic” Minis display. But the keyboard in front of the driver is not well integrated.

During this time, we will have every opportunity to take advantage of the interior space of this car, which is completely identical, to the dashboard, with that of the Mini SE. The all-encompassing center display with questionable ergonomics is still present, as is the other digital display, which replaces the three small ports of the thermal versions. This central display is big enough to deliver essential speed and range information at all times, and it’s not well integrated: it appears to have been installed (and fixed, thankfully) at the last minute, as if the designer had forgotten it in charge of the car’s interior.

35 minutes in fast charging mode to 80%, and 3 hours 10 on a 7.4 kW station.
35 minutes in fast charging mode to 80%, and 3 hours 10 on a 7.4 kW station.

Forgetting the center screen, on the other hand, manages to fit four people on board without much concern, a performance in a 3.86m small convertible. So we can hike with the family (but without a huge canopy) if we don’t go on vacation on the plane. But then again, it’s above all a self-driving car, not an all-purpose station wagon. To my delight, one still wonders how that is possible with the increased weight of the Mini SE convertible. Since the convertible heat engine already weighs 1,320 kg, which is rather heavy for a small car, but the electric model, requiring the battery, adds more. However, despite the 1420 kg weight of the small convertible, it remains agile thanks to the incredible work of the engineers who designed it.

Mini SE convertible of the future as standard?

But this work is as difficult as it is futile. Because the Mini Cabriolet is a unique example that will not be mass-produced. Why all the hate towards those who want to ride in the fresh air with no noise and zero CO2 emissions? In fact, the current Mini and its convertible version are out of date. The new generation will arrive next year with a platform designed for electricity. Will it be available in a convertible version? “Das werden Sie früh genug herausfinden” (You’ll find out soon enough) Just repeat the Munich tires.

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