In April 2020, we revealed local pricing for the new Mini Cooper SE. But the price has since increased, despite the electric car not yet having launched in South Africa.

As we pointed out in that original story, the three-door Cooper SE was listed at R589 000, a figure low enough to make it the country’s least expensive vehicle. But now we’ve spotted a price hike, with the figure increasing some nine percent to R642 000.

Despite this, the Cooper SE is still on track to launch as South Africa’s least expensive battery-powered vehicle, undercutting the BMW i3, which now starts at R721 700 (in April, the base i3 was priced from R664 000, so it, too, has had its price hiked). The only other fully electric option on the market at the moment is the Jaguar I-Pace, which kicks off at R1 717 300.

For the sake of comparison, the three-door Cooper S hatchback costs R525 000, while upgrading to the JCW model takes the price to a round R600 000. The fully electric Cooper SE thus slots in above these two performance models.

As a reminder, the three-door Cooper SE’s lithium-ion battery enables a claimed range of between 235 and 270 km. The 32,6 kWh battery can be charged at a household socket, wallbox or public charging station, with fast direct-current charging possible at up to 50 kW.

Its electric motor offers 135 kW and 270 N.m to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission (and an integrated differential), facilitating a sprint from zero to 60 km/h in a claimed 3,9 seconds and from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 7,3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

The positioning of the battery pack means the Cooper SE is able to offer the same luggage space as the conventionally powered three-door model: a claimed 211 litres, expanding to 731 litres with the rear bench folded down.

The only “measurable difference”, according to the automaker? The Cooper SE rides 18 mm higher to ensure sufficient ground clearance for the high-voltage battery. Well, that and the fact the electric model is some 145 kg heavier than the three-door model (with an automatic transmission), tipping the scales at 1 365 kg.