Mini Electric meets special edition
Mini have been masters at the ‘special edition’ over the years, and now that’s being brought into the Mini Electric range too. The Mini Electric was introduced last year and hailed as fun to drive while being reasonably priced, thanks to a modest battery to make it accessible, though as such meaning that the range is beaten by some of its rivals.
The Mini Electric Shadow Edition is a new trim, that was first seen on the Clubman and Countryman, and now rolled into the Mini Electric range to add stealthy styling; painted in Midnight Black, with fully black allow wheels, a dechromed look, and decals applied to the exterior, to all provide dark sultry looks.
It’s based on the flagship premium L3 trim, meaning you get all sorts of good stuff included as standard. But is it the right Mini Electric for you? Let’s take a look…
Adding style to substance
The Mini Electric Shadow Edition is purely focused on style, and it means Mini hasn’t made any changes to the Electric’s zippy powertrain.
The same front-mounted electric motor remains, offering 181bhp and 270Nm of torque (figures not too dissimilar from the standard petrol Cooper S hot hatch). The jump from 0-60mph takes just 7.1 seconds, with the top speed capped at 93mph, which isn’t too shabby at all.
Like the standard car, the Mini makes do with a relatively small 32.6kWh battery, of which only 28.9kWh is usable. It is considerably smaller than many rivals (a Vauxhall Corsa-e has a 50kWh battery, for example), and means the Mini Electric does have a limited range of 141 miles WLTP (with real-world range estimated at 115 miles).
However, range isn’t everything. A small battery means it charges quickly, and the Mini Electric can do 12 to 92 miles charge in 29 minutes, using a 49 kW DC fast charger. While a full charge overnight using an 11 kW AC charger will take 3 hour 15 minutes.
Fun driving guaranteed
Minis are renowned for their fun driving experience, and none of that charm has been lost on the Mini Electric. In fact, this is arguably much more enjoyable due to the sheer responsiveness of the electric motor, and the way it can get up to a high speed so quickly.
It’s fun in the corners too, and though the battery does make it heavier than a petrol model, you can still throw it into a corner with confidence. It’s remarkably agile and nimble by EV standards – only the Honda e is able to get anywhere close to it.
The only possible downside is that the ride is a touch firm compared to the standard Mini Electric, as a result of the sportier approach employed, which isn’t helped by the larger 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to the Shadow Edition. However, fans of sporty editions should be used to this characteristic.
The Mini Electric is certainly one of the most upmarket small cars on sale today, when it comes to interior credentials. The material quality is simply superb, and with toggle switches and circular displays, it manages to be individual and charming at the same time.
At the centre of the dashboard there’s an 8.8-inch touchscreen housed within the round display, while a small digital display replaces conventional dials.
As with any Mini Hatch, practicality can sometimes lack in points, and while the front-seat room is generous, if you regularly aim to carry adults in the rear seats, or if you need a large boot, then this might not be the EV for you.
The Mini Electric Shadow Edition is based on the flagship Level 3 version, and it’s packed with great equipment.
Inside there are plush leather seats, which are heated, panoramic sunroof, and plenty of tech, such as Matrix LED headlights, a Harman Kardon sound system and a head-up display, all of which give the Mini Electric Shadow Edition a very premium feel.
A Mini masterpiece
Neither the regular Mini Electric or this Mini Electric Shadow Edition are what you’d call bargains, and they don’t have the best range. So if you want more miles and potentially more value, you might want to look at the Renault Zoe or Peugeot e-208.
The Mini Electric Shadow Edition did have a starting price of £32,395, including the £2,500 plug-in car grant. However, as of December 15th 2021, the grant has now been reduced to £1500 and only applies to electric cars that cost £32,000 or less. As such, the Shadow Edition won’t qualify and is likely to start at prices around £35k. However, the standard Mini Electric starts at around £6,500 cheaper, so would qualify for the grant if you’re eager to get that £1,500 off.
And while the Mini Electric Shadow Edition is a bit on the pricey side, there’s good reason for it. It’s a Mini masterpiece. If you love Mini and want a premium look and feel and drive, then this is it. This special edition is only £550 more than the regular L3 standard Mini Electric, so if you’re interested in a top-spec, it’s only a slight step on in cost from there.
EVs don’t get much more charming than this Mini Electric Shadow Edition. It really is fantastically fun to drive, it looks very cool, and has the best interior compared to any of its small electric car rivals.
If you crave the ultimate Mini Electric and don’t mind paving a premium for the privilege, then you really won’t be disappointed with how enjoyable this electric supermini is.