The future of the Mini brand is electric, and the newly launched Cooper SE Convertible shows what the company is considering going forward. This is a one-off vehicle. However, it's also a fully running proof of concept. In fact, Motor1.com has a First Drive of the droptop EV publishing soon.
As its name implies, the Cooper SE Convertible combines the electric powertrain from the SE hardtop and the ability to lower the roof. This gives the little EV 181 horsepower (135 kilowatts) and 199 pound-feet (270 Newton-meters) of torque. This gets the SE droptop to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 7.7 seconds. In comparison, the SE hardtop needs 7.3 seconds to reach this speed.
Gallery: 2022 Mini Cooper SE Convertible One-Off
Mini projects the SE Convertible having a 143-mile (230-kilometer) range in the WLTP test. In comparison, the SE Hardtop that's available in the US has an EPA-estimated range of 114 miles. In general, the WLTP-rated range is higher than the figure that the EPA puts out because of differences in the evaluation.
The Cooper SE Convertible shares identical dimensions with the existing Cooper S Convertible, including having 160 liters of space in the luggage compartment. Inside, there's still room for four occupants.
The power-operating roof opens and closes within 18 seconds. This can happen at speeds at up to 19 miles per hour (30 kilometers per hour). The driver can select from three settings: open, closed, or sunroof.
The Cooper SE Convertible will make its public debut in the US during the "Mini Takes the States" event. The drive will run between Burlington, Vermont, and Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Mini is currently preparing a new generation of electric Cooper. The new model will reportedly not have anything in common with the combustion-powered version. Overall length will reportedly be shorter but with a longer wheelbase. The power output will possibly top 200 hp (147 kW).
Mini's electric vehicle range will eventually grow to include a crossover EV. It'll reportedly revive the Paceman name but will be a five-door, unlike the original three-door iteration.