Is the electric MINI Cooper SE finally arriving to the Philippines?

In case you missed it, the iconic MINI brand has a new showroom at Bonifacio Global City. Inaugurated last December 2022, the 753-square-meter facility houses up to four display cars, a receiving lounge area, a quick service section, and a roof deck for social functions and events. 

As with other MINI showrooms around the world, the signature lifestyle-oriented layout of the new BGC dealership lets owners of the cars live and breathe the brand. A wide variety of merchandise is available for purchase from the MINI Lifestyle Collection, such as luggage, shirts, jackets, and more. 

Just last week, the new facility has been formally added to the MINI Asia network as Kidd Yam, Head of MINI Asia, and Samantha Ang, Sales Manager of MINI Asia, were welcomed by Autohub Group and MINI Philippines president, Willy Tee Ten and Jefferson Lizardo, General Manager of MINI Philippines, at the formal start of the showroom’s 2023 operations. 

But that’s just the tip of the news iceberg as conveniently tucked at the very end of the press writeup is a sentence that could mean the MINI Electric hatchback is finally coming to the Philippines.

Finally, electric vehicle charging points will soon be installed to support cleaner and greener energy use for the good of the environment,” said the PR material. 

Limited range, but authentic MINI feel

The MINI Electric, also known as the MINI Cooper SE, has been sold in key markets around the world since 2020. It’s basically the Battery Electric Vehicle version of the third-generation MINI hatch. It utilizes the same EV components developed for the BMW i3.

Equipped with a 183 PS and 270 Nm electric motor, the front-wheel drive Cooper SE can do 0-60 MPH in 6.9 seconds. And that’s with its increased weight to 1,425 kilograms, 87 more than the top-spec John Cooper Works hardtop.

Despite the added weight, the low placement of the 32.6 kWh battery pack has actually improved the car’s weight distribution – 54% front/ 46% rear over a mid-range Cooper S’ 58/42. And it has also lowered the electric MINI’s center of gravity by 30mm. To support all this poundage, the Cooper SE gets specially developed dampers and springs from the Countryman and Clubman.

All this translates to the same nimble go-kart handling MINIs have been known for but this time, with full, instantaneous torque at the driver’s disposal. However, given the car’s minute dimensions, the Cooper SE’s small battery pack can only let it run for 235 kilometers on a full charge.

A hint

“2023 is going to be an exciting year for MINI globally, and in the Philippines,” said MINI Asia Head, Kidd Yam. He adds, “This year we will focus on bringing customers new Editions, creating engaging experiences to bring the MINI Community together, and reigniting our commitment to environmental and social sustainability initiatives.

Now we reckon, any statement that combines the words “exciting” with “environmental sustainability” could likely mean an intention to introduce the EV variant of this iconic hatch. 

“We are delighted to welcome the MINI Asia team to our largest showroom today and look forward to working closely with the team to bring our customers in the Philippines the best that MINI has to offer,” said Tee Ten.

It is also worth noting that Autohub Group, the distributor of MINI in the Philippines is also working on bringing in Segway electric scooters. And having electric chargers in the dealership’s premises which is shared with Triumph Motorcycles, Moto ACCS, V-Kool, and soon, Lotus and perhaps Segway, will be an encouraging sign for EV intenders.

Do you think MINI Philippines should bring in the Cooper SE?

Source: Is the electric MINI Cooper SE finally arriving to the Philippines?

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