Finally! Bmw Group unveiled today the Mini E, becoming the first manufacturer of premium automobiles deploy a fleet of some 500 all-electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. The new Mini E will be powered by an electric engine capable to develop 204 hp / 150 kW (no, it's not the same from the Electric Porsche 911 by Ruf ) and will have a range of 240 km (150 miles).
The new Mini E will be available only in the US states of California, New York and Jersey but according to the manufacturer a European debut is also considered.
The new vehicle which will make its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and 20, 2008 will be capable to produce a peak torque of 220 Nm, will have a top speed of 152 km/h (95 mph) while the sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) will be made in 8.5 seconds.
Based on the current Mini, the car will be available initially as a two-seater because the back-seats are now reserved for the lithium-ion battery.
According to the manufacturer, the Mini E can be plugged into all standard power outlets, a fully recharge drawing a maximum 28 kilowatt hours of electricity (a kilowatt hour translates into 5.4 miles). The new Mini E will be charged using a wallbox provided to Mini customers. Only lockable garages or similar buildings will qualify as homebases and power stations for the Mini E.
The car weighs 1,465 kilograms (3.230 lbs) and has a new brake system that comes with a newly developed electric underpressure pump.
Due to this the technical inspections will be made after 3,000 miles (just under 5,000 kilometers) and at least after six months. At the exterior the car looks the same but according to the manufacturer the design of the vehicle has been complemented by a number of visual cues that point to its revolutionary drive concept.
The Mini E features an exclusive combination of metallic Dark Silver and a designed logo in Interchange Yellow. The color of the roof edges, mirror housings, interior style cues and seat seams will match the logo's yellow tone as well.
All of the units will have the same paintwork and will feature a serial number on their front fenders. The new electric vehicle will be built at the company's factories from Oxford and Munich and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2008. No words about the price yet!