Mini's One-Off Cooper SE Electric Convertible Sure Looks Like Fun
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Mini created a one-off Cooper SE Convertible concept.
Why it matters
This special project puts the electric powertrain from the Cooper SE Hardtop in Mini's convertible body style.
The Cooper SE Convertible will make its public debut at the Mini Takes the States road rally.
We love our electric Mini Cooper SE long-term tester; it's a near-perfect city car for daily life in Los Angeles. What could make it better? Being able to throw the top back and enjoy the sunny Southern California air. The folks at Mini seem to agree, and on Thursday Mini unveiled a one-off Cooper SE Convertible, packing all the fun-to-drive character of Mini's EV in a droptop body style.
It's a simple creation. Based on a Mini Cooper S Convertible, the SE Convertible is identical in all dimensions, including the 5.6-cubic-foot trunk. The convertible top takes 18 seconds to open or close, and can be operated at speeds up to 19 miles per hour. You can do a sunroof-style partially open position, too, which is pretty cool.
The SE Convertible has the same electric powertrain as the SE Hardtop, with 184 horsepower and a single electric motor mounted to the front axle. Because of the added weight of the convertible top mechanism, this one-off SE is a bit slower than its fixed-roof kin, with Mini estimating a 7.7-second 0-to-62-mph time. For reference, the US-spec Cooper SE Hardtop will hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
This concept has some cool details you won't find on the production Cooper SE Hardtop, like checkerboard cloth seats and a more interesting design for the dash panels. Otherwise, the two EVs are pretty much the same, right down to their 17-inch Power Spoke (not Corona Spoke) wheels.
Mini will show the Cooper SE Convertible during this year's Mini Takes the States road rally, which kicks off this week. Don't hold your breath for a production version, though. Mini may be heading toward an all-electric future, but an EV based on the current convertible is nothing more than a one-and-done showcar.
Mini Cooper SE Convertible Is All About Electric Fun in the Sun