A Mini executive has defended the range offered by the new electric Cooper SE, saying he believes the firm has hit the “sweet spot”.

Speaking to motoring.com.au, Andreas Lampka, head of communications at the BMW-backed brand, suggested the claimed range of between 235 to 270 km was sufficient.

“We don’t think the range is an issue,” Lampka said.

“Range was a very conscious decision. For us it’s a sweet spot between weight, drivability, cost and the use case.

“The use case for this car is below 30 km per day driven. That would mean you can drive it six or seven days with no recharge at all,” he explained.

The new three-door model’s 32,6 kWh lithium-ion battery is sited “deep in the vehicle floor” and 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 zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 7,3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

Lampka pointed out a heavier battery pack would lead to “terrible driving dynamics”.

“If you go into the physics of an EV or combustion engine car, the more weight you put it, the more range you kill,” he said.

“The car was there, the powertrain was there, this was a natural fit for us and bringing in more range would have sacrificed the trunk [boot], which is already limited in the three door.”

The Cooper SE is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in “limited quantities” in the first quarter of 2021.