Charismatic Simplicity: MINI's new design language

Discussion in 'Cooper SE' started by insightman, Jun 15, 2022.

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  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    In a recent press release teasing a new electric crossover, MINI's head designer, Oliver Heilmer, revealed that the new design language for future MINI Coopers is called "Charismatic Simplicity." MINI's design heritage must feel confining to Mr. Heilmer and his collegues, just as the Porsche's 911's classic form inhibits the ambitions of Porsche's desigers.

    I'm glad to have a "classic" British MINI Cooper SE.
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  3. endquote

    endquote Active Member

    There’s a video to go along with it that seems to depict some kind of van?

    I’m always for the new-new, so definitely curious where it’s headed.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    That's the MINI Urbanaut, a concept first illustrated in 2020. I don't mind new-age vehicles like this, but I'm trying to remain open-minded about the 2024 MINI Cooper SE, which will be an iffy updating of an old-age vehicle. For example, I like my SE's Head-Up Display, but I don't want all the other instrumentation in front of me to move to the center screen. Even if the 2024 betters my SE in weight, cornering, power, acceleration, range, top speed, and interior space, I doubt I'll be tempted to switch.
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I'm disheartened to think the Clubman is being replaced by something more the size of the current Countryman, while the Countryman is being redone as a behemoth SUV (I believe same platform as BMW iX1). But if the teaser image is of the Clubman replacement, it's possible it won't be as bad as I fear. The Clubman barn doors are so much nicer than a hatch, and I get a lot of benefit from the slightly longer body.
  6. revorg

    revorg Well-Known Member

    In response to my frequent comments to my sales manager about the Countryman being too big, he always tells me that the Countryman sells better than the smaller Mini. Apparently, the American public has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the notion that big clunky tanks are image improvers. I will remain a reasonably-sized (read small) car devotee. I will admit that the Clubman almost fits being reasonably-sized.
    idesignstuff likes this.
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  8. Alf_W

    Alf_W Active Member

    I'm also a small-car fan.

    Based on what I've read, the Paceman may come back as the smaller SUV, similar to the current Countryman.

    The 4-door hatch is the MINI for folks who need something a bit bigger than the 2-door. Not sure how/if the Clubman fits into the new plan at all.
  9. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    From what I've read the new "Paceman" is the replacement for the Clubman, but we'll see. And I also read the 4-door hatch (Hardtop) is done for.
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  10. Alf_W

    Alf_W Active Member

    Interesting. I've seen this rendering of what the new Paceman might look like:

    It's large. Sad to think there may be no offering in between, sizewise, the 2-door hatch and the potential new Paceman.
  11. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    That does actually look similar to a second-generation Clubman (the rear slanted windows, for one), although also looks a lot like the current Countryman. I just hope it has barn doors and not a hatch. I could never figure out what the original Paceman was, and then finally I realized it was nothing other than a 2-door version of the Countryman.
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  13. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Here's an article on the new crossover models, it's confusing what may be happening. But a "Paceman" and "Traveller" are in the works, with one being very large. And according to that article the Clubman is going to continue on in some form. Ah, rumors.
  14. rustybones

    rustybones Member

    What are the chances we can upgrade the battery of the current SE? Seems modular and easy to replace.
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  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    After batteries improve, there will be replacement batteries for the MINI Cooper SE only if market demand is sufficient to support the engineering required. Of course, market demand will vary with the cost of a replacement battery.

    It will be interesting to see if two types of replacements are offered: less weight or more range. I'll take the former.

    After ordering my SE in 2019, to get my 2006 Insight hybrid ready to sell I bought a replacement battery from Bumblebee Batteries. Honda made only 14,000 gen-1 Honda Insights so the market for replacement batteries was not huge, but it was sufficient for Bumbebee to make a profit. My sub-kilowatt battery cost about $1,400 and weighed only 70 lbs. A replacement battery for an SE will be much more expensive and most people won't be able to perform the replacement themselves.
  16. Carsten Haase

    Carsten Haase Well-Known Member

    Physical installation and electrical compatibility are fairly simple but getting the computers to play nice (the new BMS and car's ECU) requires some CAN message details that take some special tools to sniff out (because MINI isn't going to just tell you!)

    As @insightman said, we may or may not get an SE specific battery upgrade since this car is only going to be around for 4 model years.

    However, there are already tons companies that can convert any car you want to an EV. Just upgrading the battery should be a simple task for them but expect to pay more for the one-off engineering.

    If you were so inclined (and have plenty of spare cash) you could upgrade your SE right now with the latest battery tech and get some amount of improvement.
  17. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I don't think the 140+ mile range I'm getting is too low, and I fully expect by the time I'd even think of a replacement battery the charging infrastructure will be built out enough that more range won't be important. Considering the SE's maximum charge rate is 50 kW, a bigger battery would take so long to charge it wouldn't be a good choice for long distance trips.
  18. Carsten Haase

    Carsten Haase Well-Known Member

    That charge rate is set by the battery:
    • cell charge rate * number of cells = pack charge rate
    • small battery = less cells = slower charge rate
    A larger battery could accommodate a faster charging rate as long as the other ECUs could be adjusted (the BMS ultimately controls the charge rate but I think that's passed through another ECU before communicating with the charger)

    I'm also am betting the infrastructure improvements will allow me to travel further before batteries improve enough for the upgrade investment to be worthwhile but you never know when a breakthrough will happen!
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I'd love to switch to a 100-lb pack of solid-state Li-Ion batteries that gives me 110 miles of range. However, I have no idea what a 110-mile pack of solid-state Li-Ion batteries would actually weigh.
  20. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I think that reinforces my point that putting in bigger batteries will take longer to charge without also increasing the charge rate.
  21. teslarati97

    teslarati97 Well-Known Member

    There's plenty of room to increase the energy with high nickel chemistry as it's just conservative NCM 333 in the MINI. I'm pretty sure even BMW moved to NCM 811 for the iX and i4.

    Koreans have already moved to NCM 9-0.5-0.5 for their 522.7V/697V battery pack. I am extremely disappointed that customers were shortchanged 56 cells in the 77.4kWh version to actually get close to 800V. Where's my 135.5kWh Ioniq 5 or EV6 battery pack???? :mad:
  22. Brawndo

    Brawndo Member

    If the current Mini SE is as good as it is on decade old tech, I have absurdly high hopes for the next gen.
  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    But the current MINI was designed by BMW from the ground-up. The 2024 SE will be a BMW-modified version of a Great Wall Motor car.

    The 2024 SE will certainly offer greater range per charge, but there are many EVs that offer more range. The raison d'etre for the MINI Cooper is great handling. I don't believe suspension and handling technology has changed much in the past decade. However, if the 2024 SE weighs 500 lbs less than the current SE, I doubt handling will be a problem.

    Maybe the Ora Good Cat is a great car that BMW can make even better. Time will tell.

    Edit: I just looked up the weight of the Ora Good Cat and Motor1 says "China’s Adorable EV With A Funny Name" weighs 3,323 lbs, so not 500 lbs lighter than the old 3,144-lb SE, but still 300 lbs lighter than a Model 3 Tesla.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022

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