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BMW unveils all-electric Mini E

Move over, G-Wiz! BMW has just taken the wraps off its new Mini E -- a battery-powered version of the iconic marque

Move over, G-Wiz! BMW has just taken the wraps off its new Mini E -- a battery-powered version of the iconic British German marque.

Barring a new colour scheme and 'E' badges hinting at its power source, the exterior looks like the standard Mini Hatch. The interior, however, is a different story. Instead of rear seats, BMW's fitted 5,088 lithium-ion battery cells packaged into three battery elements.

The batteries give the Mini E a range of around 150 miles -- depending on your driving style. The electric motor produces a very respectable 204hp and 220Nm of torque. 0-60mph acceleration takes 8.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 95mph. That's hardly Tesla-level performance, but it knocks most other electric vehicles for six.

The battery charging time is set to be quite impressive -- just 2.5 hours. This is achieved through a special BMW-installed wallbox, which enables higher amperage. Only lockable garages qualify to have a wallbox and without one, we estimate full charges should take around 8 hours.

BMW will officially unveil the Mini E to the media at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 19 November, and will then ship 500 vehicles to California, New York and New Jersey for private and corporate tests.

If you live in the US, you can apply to test one here. -Rory Reid