Questions about the MINI Cooper SE? Tom's taking it to the racetrack.

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by Domenick, Apr 14, 2020.

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  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    One-time owner of an original MINI E, InsideEVs contributor Tom Moloughney has the loan of a new MINI Cooper SE for the next couple weeks. If you have any questions about any aspect of the car, hit him up here and we should be able to get some answers.

    I believe he'll get to drive it over some distance, doing some fast-charging along the way. He may also get it on a track, so if you have any questions about the driving dynamics, he might be able to help there as well.

    Here is a pic of the car in question.

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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Tom, thanks for volunteering to answer questions. I have many questions about this car that I can only read about until the factory re-opens and makes one for me. I'm sad I'm the most recent poster on almost every thread in Domenick's MINI Cooper SE forum. I'll limit myself to 10 questions (in this post).

    1. Does the driver have any way to know at what point the MINI Cooper SE's brake lights come on when lifting off the accelerator pedal? It would be nice to know when people behind you are confronted with your brake lights.

    2. What happens after you come to a complete stop under regen braking? If you don't use the brake pedal, will the car roll downhill into an intersection? The description of the Hold Function in Owners Manual makes it sound like you have to use the brake pedal to remain stopped:

    > The system holds the vehicle automatically
    > when gear is engaged. This prevents rolling
    > against the direction of travel.

    3. Does the MINI Cooper SE have incandescent bulbs anywhere in the car? The Owners Manual suggests there are incandescent turn signal bulbs:

    > Unusually rapid flashing of the indicator light
    > indicates that a turn signal bulb has failed.

    4. Can a skilled driver get the MINI Cooper SE to accelerate faster with the traction control turned off?

    5. Is this the only MINI that comes with a tire-repair kit instead of run-flat tires? I'm assuming your MINI has the same Hankook Ventus S1 Summer performance tires as one owner has reported.

    6. How much does your MINI Cooper SE actually weigh (do you have any friends at truck stops with scales)?

    7. If you can weigh your MINI, can you also verify if the car really has 50%/50% front/rear weight distribution?

    8. How does the infotainment system compare to the one in your i3?

    9. Which is the sportier car, your old MINI E or the MINI Cooper SE?

    10. After complaining about the lack of granularity of the SE's 8-segment battery-charge gauge, Autoblog writer Dan Edmunds, who today presented a MINI Cooper SE range test wrote, "I will later discover a more useful digital readout good for 1% resolution after thumbing through the trip computer menu." Can you elaborate on this 1%-resolution battery-charge readout (perhaps with a photo)?

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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  4. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Member

    Describe the difference in driving dynamics compared to the BMW i3s that Tom already drives.
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  5. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    So, Tom got the car and pretty much immediately drove it to a racetrack over 400 miles away. So, while he hasn't been able to answer questions yet. We did discuss a number of things about the trip and his time at the track with the car on today's episode of the InsideEVs Podcast. It's the first thing we talk about in this episode.

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  6. KyleConner

    KyleConner New Member

    Here's a video of a 400+ mile road trip we just completed in the MINI SE

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  8. Hi, sorry for the delay, but as Domenick noted, I've been driving the MINI the past few days pretty much nonstop. I've added 1,300 miles to it in 4 days. :) OK, here's my answers.

    1) Not that I have noticed.
    2) The car will stop by itself with regen if the road is relatively flat or if you're going up a hill. If you're driving down an incline, it will only slow down to able 2 mph and continue to roll forward. When the car does stop with regen, it can roll forward, but it will hold you from rolling backward unless you are going up a steep incline. In that case, it will stop and slowly roll backward.
    3) I'm not sure about the light bulbs
    4) I did multiple runs with the traction control on and off, and I couldn't notice a difference. The tires don't break loose at all with the traction control turned off
    5) I really don't know if other MINIs come with a spare or the repair kit. This car has Goodyear Eagle F1 tires on it.
    6) Sorry, but I really don't have any means to weigh it.
    7) Same as Q6
    8) I had the premium sound system in my i3s and it was marginally better than the system in the MINI. It's a good system, but in my opinion, the i3's was a little better.
    9) The new MINI is faster, but you need to put it in sport mode to get the instant torque. My old MINI was slower, but there was just one driving mode so you always had that instant torque. This car always defaults into the "Mid" driving mode, which doesn't have a lot of punch, so you have to put it in sport mode if you want to have fun. A few times I found myself flooring it and then remembering I didn't have it in sport and it was like womp, womp, womp.
    10) There's a numeric SOC display that you can have on the drivers display if you want it. I don't have a picture of it yet, but there will be pics of it in my reviews next week on IEV.
  9. The MINI Cooper SE is front-wheel drive and has some serious understeer when pushed to the limit, my i3S would also understeer, but not as badly as the MINI. The MINI handles better than a regular i3, but not quite as good as an i3s, IMO. But I wish I had all three together at once to drive one after the other on the same track. That's really the only way I can give a totally honest and correct answer.
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  10. MVIMG_20200416_141521.jpg

    On the track
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  11. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Member

    Sounds like smiles / kWh usable capacity is pretty good!
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  13. Indeed! It's fun little EV to tool around in for sure.
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  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Does the SE's range estimate reflect your previous drives, like my Clarity PHEV's guess-o-meter? I've read that the SE's predicted range varies when you select different driving modes and when you turn the climate-control system on and off (and, I suspect, based on the ambient temperature), but would hypermilers see a greater range estimate when they power up the car than heavy-footed drivers?
  15. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

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  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    In this video I was interested to learn from Kyle that the MINI Yours steering wheel in the Iconic trim SE uses the same leather as the steering wheel in a Rolls Royce.

    Tom and Kyle said their Iconic trim MINI Cooper SE had almost every option. I believe the only extra-cost option their SE was missing was the $500 black leather seats.

    Also, they didn't mention the delete options. The Signature Plus and Iconic trim level SEs can be ordered without a sunroof (no rebate, however). Also, any SE can be ordered without the two Energetic Yellow elements: the 2 Energetic Yellow stripes (the "blade" in MINI terminology) on the grille and the Energetic Yellow caps on the side mirrors. However, there are colors that MINI will not deliver with those two Energetic Yellow elements. I believe those colors are Chili Red, and British Racing Green.
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Tom, I'm still hoping you can answer my question about the MINI's range guess-o-meter posted on April 23rd above:
    And on April 19th above you wrote:
    Did you find time to get those pics?

    Finally, did you get to ask MINI about the officially prescribed method of getting the SE out of Park after the battery charge runs out? When the SE uses its last Watt to shift itself into Park, how could the powerless car be pushed the last 2 inches to the EVSE or dragged onto a flatbed tow truck? I'm surprised that this crucial info is missing from the Owners Manual.

    Last edited: May 6, 2020

  18. The estimated does reflect previous driving, but I'm not 100% clear on what portion of your previous drive is used to arrive at the calculation. Since it's a BMW brand product, they probably use a similar formula to the i3, which uses consumption data from the last 15 - 18 miles.

    I do not have an answer on the question about the car going into park when the battery was dead. However, I'm pretty sure we could have turned it on and put it into neutral id we had to. I really think the car put itself into park because we were flooring the accelerator and it was out of power and perhaps began rolling backward a bit. This isn't a scenario that I believe many people (or anyone) is going to find themselves in.
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  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I'm fascinated by the ways different manufacturers attempt to provide accurate range estimates for drivers of their electric cars. Does the range estimate in your i3 always start at the same number and then adjust according to your driving style on that particular drive? Does the initial estimate vary according to temperature? My Clarity PHEV looks at the last few drives and the ambient temperature to come up with the initial guess-o-meter range estimate.
  20. No, it doesn't always start at the same number. It uses the information from my last 18 miles of driving and uses factors like temperature and also topography if I have the navigation in use.
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