MINI Australia has announced pricing for its Electric Hatch which is set to kick off from $54,800 before on-roads when it hits local dealerships this August.
Initially set to be offered in just the single guise – First Edition – the Electric Hatch is Mini’s first ever production electric vehicle (EV) and uses the brand’s iconic three-door Cooper S as the basis for its styling, albeit with its own unique touches.
The differences lay in the Electric Hatch’s solid radiator grille, aerodynamically optimised 17-inch alloy wheels and four unique colour schemes.
The main talking point of the Electric Hatch is of course its all-electric powertrain, with all 135kW and 270Nm coming courtesy of a 32.6kWh lithium-ion battery stashed under the floor.
When the battery runs low on charge, Mini says plugging it into a 50kW DC public charger will recharge it to 80 per cent in just 35 minutes.
In terms of power, the Mini outstrips most of its key rivals by a fairly considerable margin (Hyundai Ioniq: 104kW/265Nm, Renault Zoe: 68kW/220Nm, Nissan Leaf: 110kW/320Nm, upcoming Fiat 500: 87kW) but falls short with its 233km effective range, especially compared to the Renault Zoe’s claimed 403km.
Just like the Cooper S, power is sent to the front wheels only with 0-100km/h dispatched in a claimed 7.3 seconds – just half a second slower than its force-fed petrol-powered sibling and besting all of its key rivals.
In a bid to keep the new Electric Hatch as loyal to the traditional Mini handling ethos – go-kart-like – as possible, engineers have tried to keep the bulk of the car’s weight as centred and low as possible with the whole package riding on a unique suspension tune.
While the Electric Hatch is Mini’s first all-electric vehicle, it is not Mini’s foray into the world of electrification – that title belongs to the bigger and similarly priced Countryman S E PHEV SUV ($57,200).
That car is motivated by a 100kW/220Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a 65kW/165Nm electric motor which combine to develop 165kW of power and 385Nm of torque while using as little as 1.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
The biggest difference between the two save for powertrain and size is the Countryman’s all-wheel-drive system which sends power from the internal combustion engine to the front wheels and electric power to the rear.
Standard equipment on the Electric Hatch is generous and includes adaptive LED headlights, Mini electric interior, heated leather sports seats, head-up display, digital dash display and a Harman Kardon sound system.
According to BMW Group Australia media communications manager Brendan Mok, there are no immediate plans to offer any other variants of the Electric Hatch Down Under and that the Launch Edition “captured owners’ favourites with the equipment choices”.
Mini Australia general manager Brett Waudby backed up this notion by revealing Mini Australia had already received “thousands” of expressions of interest.
“The arrival of the Mini Electric Hatch in Australia heralds a new chapter for the brand – a charge into the future of electromobility without compromising the marque’s core values of creativity, vibrancy and smart urbanity,” he said.
“Our dealers across the nation are extremely excited to add this model to our customer offering, which is sure to be an absolute thrill to drive.”
In terms of price, the Mini Electric Hatch’s $54,800 plus on-roads pricetag places it at the upper end of the small EV market, undercut by every one of its key rivals except the $70,900 BMW i3s with which it shares a powertrain.
So far this year Mini has shifted 410 hatches, down from 632 over the same period last year, marking a drop of 35.1 per cent.
2020 Mini Electric Hatch pricing*
|Launch Edition (a)||$54,800|
*Excludes on-road costs