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2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun? – paultan.org

2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun? – paultan.org


We may have already seen the new MINI Cooper S making its debut in Malaysia, but that one is merely a warmed-over version of the outgoing petrol-powered F56. The future of the German-owned British brand is electric, a point it made crystal clear with the unveiling of an all-new, all-electric MINI Cooper last year.

Set to be launched in Malaysia this weekend, the J01 is a new MINI Hatch for a new era. Developed in partnership with GWM and built at a new plant in Zhangjiagang, China, it hides plenty of brand-first innovations underneath its recognisably retro design.

2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun?

Even the said design has been comprehensively revamped, with more minimalist styling that is a welcome change from the car’s increasingly overwrought predecessors. For instance, you no longer get a clamshell bonnet, front fender “scuttles”, chrome highlights and black plastic wheel arches – instead, you get customisable daytime running lights within the trademark circular headlights and matrix LED taillights with three different lighting patterns to choose from.

An even bigger sea change can be found on the inside, where the MINI Hatch’s various displays and toggle switches have been consolidated into a striking 9.2-inch OLED circular touchscreen, running on the latest Android-based MINI Operating System 9. Swathes of fabric trim, warm metallic gold highlights and cool pattern projectors behind the centre screen add to the interior’s funky new-age aesthetic.

2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun?

The previous MINI Cooper SE may have been hamstrung by its petrol-powered architecture, with barely enough range to get out of the city, but this latest model is very different. The top-of-the-line SE you see here comes with a 54.2kWh that delivers nearly double the range at up to 402 km on the WLTP cycle. That’s despite it having quite a bit more power – its single front motor produces 218 PS (160 kW) and 330 Nm of torque, getting it from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

So, the new MINI Cooper has more range and more tech, but has the wholesale move to electric propulsion come at the cost of Oxford’s renown go kart-like driving dynamics? That’s what Hafriz Shah endeavoured to find out by testing the car in Sitges, Spain, and you can watch his review below.

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2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun? – paultan.org
2024 MINI Cooper SE review – new Chinese-built EV MINI Hatch has nearly 2x range, but is it less fun? – paultan.org

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