EV Mini's Elas­tic Band Propul­sion

Business Plus - - MOTORING -

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

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