The car has a combustion engine and an electric motor, which for the first time for a MINI large series models allows electric propulsion only. This marks the beginning of a new era for the brand.
At first glance you do not recognize the car as a hybrid model. The charging socket for the high-voltage battery is integrated discretely into the flag side from the left wing. Also, everything is familiar in the cockpit.
The start / stop button in the center of the dash glows yellow instead of red. As usual, you only have to press the button to start the car – however, the car remains silent, because a hybrid model always starts in electric mode. The rev counter on the dashboard of the steering column was replaced with a display of power.
Keeping an eye on this display is particularly useful during the first kilometers because it informs the driver about the energy reserves of the electric motor before starting the thermal engine. Precisely when the heat engine starts depends on the vehicle speed and intensity with which the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
The MINI hybrid model makes full use of the electric motor’s torque, which is available from the first moment and allows impressive acceleration. Even after leaving the reduced pace of the city, this car maintains its zero emissions at cruising speed.
The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provide energy for driving under electric power. The AUTO eDrive standard mode allows speeds up to 80 km / h, while in the MAX eDrive mode speeds of up to 125 km / h are possible.
With the combined power of the two engines the first MINI hybrid model demonstrates unparalleled acceleration when compared with versions equipped with the combustion engine only. However, the go-kart driving characteristics of the MINI are more than just rapid acceleration. Above all, this MINI hybrid must prove precisely how to handle cornering on the most interesting twisty roads.
Thanks to eDrive components that are positioned very low in the back, the car’s center of gravity is lowered and the weight is distributed equally between the front and rear, ideal for achieving a greater level of traditional agility for the MINI.
The hybrid concept offers another benefit too, namely the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels and the combustion engine to the front axle. How to intelligently manage the energy system is left to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), the traction and stability being optimized through this propulsion system.
Intelligent energy management provides an additional opportunity for the two power sources to work together effectively. When driving on the highway, you can activate a third eDrive mode: SAVE BATTERY. In this mode, the combustion engine propels the car and at the same time high-voltage battery can hold charge at a constant level or can be charged via a generator. The expanding driving mode SAVE BATTERY allows the generation of sufficient energy to be used later for pure electric driving.