EV Mini's Elastic Band Propulsion
At last BMW has released the brand’s popular Mini as an all-electric car. It drives like the fossil-fuel version – at the expense of decent range between charges. On my test I found the range to be around 200km, which by Renault Zoe standards isn’t great.
If you can cope with range anxiety, the Mini Electric is one of the most spirited EVs to drive. The suspension is raised 18mm over the petrol Cooper S and it drives like an ordinary Mini if you were wearing noise-cancelling headphones. The car’s dart-like response and acceleration of 0-100km in 7.3 seconds mimics the sensation of being released by a giant elastic band.
Prices for Level 1 are €27,765, €30,155 for the Level 2 and the Level 3 €35,445. Each level adds higher-grade equipment like LED headlights, alloy wheel upgrades and interior trim. The battery power output remains unchanged, and at the price point the Level 2 model is the pick of the range.
In the competitive five-door supermini class, the Audi A1 is a strong contender. It was probably inevitable that Audi would add a smattering of crossover appeal to come up with the A1 Citycarver. To do this they raised the suspension by 50mm and bolted plastic cladding to the side and front. The A1 Citycarver also has a front hexagonal grille similar to the Audi Q models.
It drives just like the A1 and feels like a mature, premium product. A big component of the Citycarver’s appeal is the 1.0-litre petrol engine, a gem in the Audi line-up. Even though the Citycarver weighs around 40kgs more than the standard A1, there is little difference in the car’s handling.
The rest of the A1 Citycarver is typical Audi A1 – polished, well-constructed and satisfyingly engineered. Prices start at €30,150.
The Mini Electric is strictly for city driving and has thrilling acceleration
Audi’s A1 Citycarver has a premium feel — for a car with a one-litre engine