We drive the electric Mini – the car that may not be built in the UK

If you like the excitement of driving go-karts hell for leather you’ll love the forthcoming new electric Mini which hits UK showrooms next year.

I should know. I’ve just had an exclusive drive in one – charging around on the track and doing tighter slaloms through cones than an Olympic skier.

Though I travelled to Germany to drive it – Mini is now part of Bavaria’s giant BMW Group – the three-door hatchback vehicle itself will be built in Britain at the Oxford factory from November this year ready for sale in early 2020. 

That’s providing there is a deal on Brexit, following dire threats by BMW bosses at the Geneva Motor Show to end production in Oxford and switch it to Holland or Germany if there isn’t.

‘Mini SE is a rubbish name’, says Ray Massey. He wants the brand to stick to Mini Electric

Bizarrely, the BMW Group marketing geniuses in Munich want to call the new electric Mini the Cooper SE, the ‘E’ referring to its electric prowess.

However, I understand this is meeting stiff resistance among the Mini folk back in Blighty who point out that this completely misses the point about its unique electric selling point and instead makes it sound like a bog-standard SE trim level more usually associated with Mercedes-Benz or a mundane saloon.

Memo to Munich: SE is a rubbish name for a very clever car. Mini Electric sounds much better.

As part of its electrification programme, Mini currently sells the plug-in hybrid Mini Countryman which is built under licence in Holland.