Now what belongs together is growing together: electric drive meets convertible, even if only as a one-off Mini Cooper S. But at least...
It's about time: The manufacturers are rolling over us with caravans of SUVs and crossovers in all shapes and colors, with combustion engines or electrified, but where are the little ones, the Smart ones, the fun ones? Small convertibles, for example. Payable. For great fun at a low price. Gladly with an environmentally friendly drive. Of course, there are the open versions of the Fiat 500 and the Smart Fortwo, but the two don't convey the complete convertible aroma, do they? More like a roll-top flair or a landaulet to go. That's why it's time for the open electric Mini, the Cooper SE Cabriolet. Before you run to the dealer with your sunglasses, hat and check book: Take it easy. There is only one. Built by Mini itself. Not for sale. To show what's possible.,
I used to be a Cooper S Cabrio
What's up. Good cue. We are the first and exclusively allowed to access the open Stromer. Mallorca, 22 degrees, sun. So far so good. Also with the SE, which, like its soldered serial brother, hums enterprisingly, at low speeds intoning the synthetic pedestrian protection song. The roof opens in 18 seconds with a button in the window frame, even while driving at speeds of up to 30 km/h and, if desired, with the still clever and unique sliding roof function – something like the transitional jacket in the convertible universe. Everything as usual. No wonder, the guy is a reworked Cooper S convertible.
At Mini, they pondered both variants: Scalping a Cooper SE into a convertible or plucking out the two-liter from a Cooper S Cabrio and planting a Stromer heart. The latter turned out to be easier. And as a test vehicle, it can also be let loose on the road without any problems. And with 100% quality. No tinkering tinkering, although a single piece delivers, the SE series quality. Nothing creaks or trembles because of the already stiff base. Experts already praise the Stromer as perhaps the best Mini. Its engine runs cultivated and quietly, pushes you right from the start with a maximum torque of 270 Newton meters. And that's what hiking or driving in a convertible is all about,
Let's zoom into the Tramuntana mountains. As if painted, the tight curves shimmy along the mountain, only to then scramble over it and end in Sa Calobra. Sa Calobra? Not only racing cyclists grin. Sa Calobra - perhaps the coolest curve in the world. Already great during the day, the scenery gets an extra atmosphere in the sunset. We also had an extra atmosphere on arrival. Normally demanding, if only because of the cyclists, who from spring onwards from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hog all the mountain slopes and force drivers to make compromises.
De-escalation instead of roaring engines
No problem in the open SE. The open-air Stromer de-escalates to the maximum.Where you usually sneak behind the cyclists with the engine roaring to overtake them at the first opportunity with the engine roaring, the open Mini whispers past them noiselessly. And fast! Where you normally shift down a gear or two to get things going, the e-machine pushes the 1.5-tonner past the obstacle with instant torque and without shifting gears. Downshifting, revving up was once. Sure, one or the other old-schooler may miss the whistling of the turbocharger and the chirping of the blow-off valve that the Cooper S lovingly celebrates. But here and now in the peloton, the electric convertible is much more relaxed.,
Sporty on top of that, because the guy claws the endless series of curves with at least as much vigor as the 178 hp two-liter petrol engine, which roars along for comparison, benefits from the deep center of gravity and the fine (actuator-related) traction control of the electric motor. zero hundred? seven seven. Boy Boy. Still strange, so open, so quiet and so fast to swipe around the curves, past rocks, small walls and clumps of trees.
35 kW requires planning
So back to cruising mode, with which you can roam the landscape without bothering anyone. No noise, no exhaust, no stress. Although - in contrast to the Cooper S, you should keep an eye on the battery indicator on the SE. 35 kWh are not sooo lavish and require clever budgeting. As usual, the SE charges using household electricity, the 11 kW wall box or 50 kW fast chargers. However, they do not lurk behind every larch in the Tramuntana. With a little planning, you can still manage a nice day of driving without recharging on the go. In any case, we did it, at the latest in Palma there are fast chargers. Advantage Mallorca. Island of short, but all the more beautiful ways.,
The Mini Cooper SE Cabrio shows how well electric drive and open-top driving go together, actually belong together. Let's see what's in store for us. The mini one-off is at least a start.