MINI Electric motor, drive & performance

Performance from the MINI Electric is strong – and most importantly, the hatchback has lost none of its sense of fun

MINI Electric
0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
7.3s 93mph Front 181bhp

MINI Electric 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Don’t let the modest figures deceive you: the MINI Electric offers seriously impressive performance for a car of this type. Around town, instant shove allows you to dart into gaps in traffic you’d think twice about seizing in a petrol car, while the direct steering and sharp handling give it agility often missing in small hatchbacks. In fact, it feels very similar to the standard MINI hatchback – a car that has long been one of the most entertaining superminis on sale.

MINI says the Electric will hit 37mph from rest in less than four seconds, while sprinting from 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds. With no gear ratios – like all electric cars, you just point and shoot as you would in a conventional automatic – it feels far faster. The electric motor’s instant torque fires the car off the line, but it never seems to run out of puff; it’ll rocket from 50-75mph in just 4.6 seconds.

Top speed is limited to 93mph, but few buyers will resent this. In fact, unless you live in Germany and regularly commute on the autobahn, that'll be plenty. Regardless, the quicker you go, the faster the predicted range drops – high speeds will see less than 100 miles per charge. The MINI Electric is quiet and refined at 70mph, with little in the way of wind or road noise.

Handling

It’s amazing how little driver appeal this heavier MINI Electric has lost in the transition from petrol power. Performance is quite literally electric, and yet it still handles with precision and confidence. The MINI sits on what is inherently a very stiff platform, but the Electric feels a little softer than its petrol Cooper S counterpart. It still steers sharply, feeling darty and agile in equal measure.

That stiffness does translate to a slightly fidgety ride, but you’d never describe the MINI as uncomfortable; while it does occasionally thud into potholes, the structure doesn’t shake and shimmy, which results in a composed and accomplished driving experience.

Refinement is good, too. There’s very little electric-motor whine at low speeds, and wind and road noise are well suppressed on the motorway. In fact, the only thing preventing you from completing longer journeys in the MINI Electric is its relatively modest range. Still, if you’re prepared to stop and charge en route, this is the kind of car you’d feel more than comfortable in, even after extended periods of time.