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2020 Mini Cooper SE: Mini's electrified Cooper shows promise

The all-electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE is quick on its feet despite its weight gain.

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jonwong.jpg
Jon Wong
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Jon Wong
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Mini's first electric production car, the 2020 Cooper SE, is based on the two-door hardtop body.

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While technical details remain scarce, Mini says the electric drivetrain is very similar to the one found in the BMW i3. 

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In the i3, the drivetrain produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

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Mini says the Cooper SE will hit 62 mph in 7 to 8 seconds.

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Visually setting the Cooper SE apart from regular Cooper models is a different front fascia with specific grille and new rear fascia.

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The 16- and 17-inch wheels that will be available with the Cooper SE are shared with the normal Cooper models.

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To cope with the with the additional 264 pounds of weight, engineers had to reinforce the Cooper's A-pillars and side sills. 

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Suspension ride height has also been raised about a half inch to cope with the weight.

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Thanks to a battery pack that occupies the center transmission tunnel and gas tank area, the interior of the Cooper SE is identical to the gas-powered Cooper.

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The 2020 Mini Cooper SE will hit dealers in the US at the end of the year.

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