The selection criteria have not been released, but we guess BMW will be looking for users who require neither sporty performance or practicality – the car weighs in at nearly 1500kgs and has a battery where the rear seats should be. Presumably also, the MINI’s sporting exhaust note will be replaced with a monotonous whirr - not to be confused with the sound of Sir Alex Issigonis spinning ever faster in his grave, or even the buzz of another successful MINI publicity campaign…
Enough of the cheap shots. In it’s favour the MINI E retains all the proper versions’ visual charm, and BMW says the suspension has been revised to cope with a rear biased weight distribution – to the extent that it could keep up with a regular MINI through the twisty bits.
The MINI E gets its juice through a socket where the filler cap should be, and a full charge takes 8 hours from a regular mains outlet, although US customers will be offered a fast charging station that reduces this to less than 2 hours.
Top speed has been limited to 95mph, but BMW claims a 0-62mph time of 8.5secs and a range of around 150 miles, extended by re-capturing energy expended under braking.
The MINIE will be revealed at the Los Angeles motor show next month, and following its debut on US streets could find its way to customers in European capital cities under similar selected lease deals.