The 2024 MINI Cooper SE Resolute Edition is the perfect example of the moving target that is electronic vehicle (EV) technology.
Last year, when the original arrived on local shores, your weekly Jamaica Observer Auto magazine called it objectively better than its petrol equivalent and a great urban motoring solution. However, it was handicapped by the limited EV charging infrastructure, putting a wet napkin over the jump in and drive nature of MINIs.
In just under a year, range anxiety is now a lower concern and the 2024 MINI Cooper SE Resolute edition is able to take advantage of that.
MINI owners are an interesting group, they seek individuality in their cars but yet their love for the brand draws them into a community.
The Resolute Edition of the all-electric Cooper 3-door SE brings with it unique elements to set it apart from the standard model, much like the colourful options that can dress a car with a Union Jack on its roof, adorn it with legendary motorsport livery, and deck out the interior under cool names like Chili Pack. The Resolute Edition is easily marked out by its specific Nanuq White exterior colour. The MINI faithful will realise the roof and door mirrors are body coloured. More obvious are the hood stripes with the word Resolute hidden in them.
The EV specific 17-inch Electric Collection Spoke wheels, designed to look like electrical outlets, are standard.
Inside the MINI Cooper SE Resolute retains all the technology, features, and quality that make the regular MINI Cooper a premium product. The light gold stripped theme on the outside can be found on the dashboard. The seats are a combination of yellow chequered cloth and leather. Nappa leather covers the chunky steering wheel, which also has the word Resolute in gold on the lower spoke.
Past the extra niceties, the Resolute Edition retains the electric drivetrain of all SE models. The front wheels are driven by an electric motor outputting 184bhp and 199lb/ft of torque. The 32.6kWh battery sits low and in a T-shape under the body to ensure that MINI go-kart driving feel. Range is quoted at 234 kilometres. Of course, a home charger is provided.
So, where is the improvement? The first is the understanding a major advantage EVs have. They can recover range while being driven. Ignore the range meter, concentrate on the amount of battery charge left and the kWh usage. Operating the MINI with these two metrics, plus the appropriate driving mode, will severely minimise range anxiety and optimise power consumption. It's totally possible in the MINI to not only leave and arrive at a destination with the same amount of range, but with more range that it left.
In terms of charging, 50kWh Level 3 charging stations aren't exactly growing on trees, but there's enough availability to make life a lot easier. Just like driving, charging an EV has a multitude of variables, but the main ones to know is the speed of the charger vs the battery size. A keen eye will notice that Level 3 charging is more than the battery capacity of the MINI. Previous testing showed that on the public charging network at 13kWh Level 2 the MINI took an average of two and half hours to charge to 100 per cent and cost, on average, $2000 per session. Step up to Level 3 and owners may not even have to move from their car. MINI quotes 10 per cent to 80 per cent in 35 minutes. Real world, this was done in 14 minutes. Waiting to 100 per cent is just under an hour longer. On average the 100 per cent charge took one hour and 10 minutes. Like all EVs, the MINI recharges on a computer controlled curve as not to overheat and damage the batteries, thus after 80 per cent it ramps down, with the final 1 per cent taking about 10 minutes. Total cost: About $1,300 per session.
So what we have here in the 2024 MINI Cooper SE Resolute Edition is car in the right place at the right time. It can be charged faster for cheaper on a slowly expanding infrastructure which has opened up its use case even further and brought back some of that get up early for a Sunday drive appeal MINIs inherently have.
MODEL: 2024 MINI Cooper SE Resolute Edition
ENGINE: Electric motor - 184bhp/199lb/ft
DRIVETRAIN: single-stage transmission/front-wheel drive
SUMMARY: Battery powered early Sunday morning drives