Road Trip with the MINI Cooper SE from Silicon Valley to Hollywood.

Munich/San Francisco. The Silicon Valley, synonymous
with digital giants like Google, Apple and Facebook, is an innovation
hub and considered the innovation factory of the world. If the first
premium electric small car hasn’t been invented in Munich it would
have been invented here.

We set out with the MINI Cooper SE (combined fuel consumption:
0.0 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh/100
km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) from San Francisco’s
Golden Gate Park and cross the famous bridge with the trunk loaded
with our weekender bags, and the high-voltage-battery fully charged.
The all-electric MINI Cooper SE has the exact same loading capacity as
the conventionally powered MINI Hardtop 2 door (211 – 731 liters).
This is the most striking difference from the first electrified MINI E
of 2008: That was a two-seater. Now the battery pack is located under
the passengers, lowering the center of gravity even further towards
that legendary go-kart feeling all MINIs are famous for.

The cable cars of San Francisco remind us of the electric mobility
that was invented centuries ago while we appreciate the steep downhill
roads for recuperation purposes. This is where the one-pedal-feeling
of the MINI Cooper SE is so compelling – without even thinking to
touch the brakes we decelerate with ease while the generator recharges
the battery.

Only blocks from Highway #1 is Lombard Street, easily the most
crooked road in the world with its eight sharp hairpins. The steep one
way downhill single lane street has an inclination of 27 percent and a
recommended speed of only 5 miles per hour (8 km/h). Bullitt (Steve
McQueen, 1968) did not fly down this road in one of the most epic car
chase scenes in movie history but we are only minutes away from
Brisbane where that hot pursuit ended badly in a gas station.

San Francisco – Monterey.

Heading south the ridges of the Coast Ranges separate us from Palo
Alto, Cupertino and the rest of the Silicon Valley. We switch the
MINI Cooper SE to Green+ mode and windows down we welcome the Pacific
Ocean breeze. With the famous Redwood forest to our left we set the
cruise control to an appropriate speed well below the limited top
speed of 150 km/h. The rather comfortable outside temperature of 22°
Celsius fills the cabin as we enjoy the silent cruising mode of the
21st century.

As we are closing in on Santa Cruz for some sandwiches at famous “The
Picnic Basket” (125 Beach St.) we have still plenty of electricity on
board. We will only recharge in Monterey – after 188 km and out of
pure convenience – where we will have used only two third of the
battery’s capacity. Overnight charging is easy since the MINI Cooper
SE allows for standard household currents as well as wall boxes and
fast charging with direct current and up to 50 kW.

Monterey – Cambria.

Only a few miles south of Monterey we reach Big Sur and its Bixby
Creek Bridge. As we follow one of the most isolated stretches of road
along the undisturbed coastline the unobtrusiveness of the small and
silent MINI Cooper SE is quite suitable – the steep and rugged Santa
Lucia mountains, home of the rare california condor, rise abruptly
from the wild ocean surge. The Pacific Highway shrinks to a narrow
two-laner that cuts its way through dramatic rock formations while the
last of the frequent landslides reclaimed the road for more than one year.

The change could not be more dramatic as we reach Cambria, a literal
retreat with its old english architecture (with castle), lovely pine
woods and the moonstone beach. Also known as Canaima, Cambria was the
perfect location for the movie “Arachnophobia” (1990). Rangephobia
though is nonexistent with 40 percent range still available when we recharge.

The MINI Cooper SE reconciles the history of mobility with its
future. It is as quick, agile and fun to drive as the nonconformist
original classic Mini from 60 years ago. Yet it is more convenient for
our coastal road trip and snugs itself neatly into urban areas or
hushes silently through our natural beauties.

Cambria – Santa Barbara.

Heading south to Santa Barbara we enter the American Riviera where
the pine trees make way for palmtrees. Reactivating the cruise
control, it is time to open the windows once more and hook the
playlist from our smartphone to the stereo as we steer towards Moro
Bay for some surfing impressions and a coffee stop at the “Top Dog”
(857 Main Street).

Caffeine-affected we enjoy the instant torque delivery of the
135 kW/184 hp engine and its continuous power delivery. Even compared
to the conventional slightly stronger MINI Cooper S (combined fuel
consumption: 6.4 – 6.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions:
147 – 139 g/km) the electric version offers an energetic driving
experience of the new kind: There is no noticeable engine vibration
and the 270 Nm of maximum torque allow for rapid acceleration
(0–100 km/h in 7.3 seconds). The stronger recuperation setting
(activated on start-up), lowered center of gravity, refined suspension
and drive slip control system add up to some very spirited driving,
especially when heading into and accelerating out of the tighter bends
in Sport mode towards Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara – Venice Beach.

Only minutes south of Santa Barbara is Rincon Point (Spanish for
“corner”), easily one of California’s most famous surf spots and it
could not be more conveniently located: The car park is literally
right next to the Pacific Highway exit and it also offers a charging
station. We leave it for others in need since we will only use some 60
percent of the battery’s capacity to our final destination Venice
Beach, home of the fit and beautiful. To make ends meet, L.A. was the
proper film location for “The Italian Job” (2003).

Closing in on L.A. we are reminded that the cities’ smog problem in
the 1970’s initiated California’s strict emission standards. Now that
we enjoy the clean air, surf, fusion food and emission free mobility
that level of air pollution seems generations away.

In California, electric mobility is part of everyday life – sure. But
the MINI Cooper SE will minify electric mobility.

In case of queries, please contact:
Press and PR

Matthias Bode, Spokesperson Communication MINI

Andreas Lampka, Head of Communication MINI
Phone: +49-


The values of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, electricity
consumption and range shown were determined according to the test
procedure defined in the European Directive VO (EU) 2007/715 in the
version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer
to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown
takes account of optional equipment and the different size of wheels
and tyres available on the selected model. These factors can change
during the configuration.

The values of some vehicles are measured according to the new
WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure) and
converted to NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) for comparison
purposes. The taxes or other duties for these vehicles may be based
on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data which differ from that
shown here.

Further information on official fuel consumption and official
specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars is given in the
‘Handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emissions and power
consumption of new passenger cars’, which can be obtained free of
charge at all sales outlets and from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand
GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen,
and at