Few brands have been quite so successful with the old ‘special edition’ formula over the years as Mini. There have been all manner of versions created, from those celebrating the brand’s past rallying legends all the way to collaborations with Rolls-Royce.
And now special editions are spanning all the way to Mini’s new Electric too. Introduced last year, the brand is now broadening the appeal of its fun EV with a new Shadow Edition. It’s a trim first seen on the larger Clubman and Countryman, but has now been rolled out across the brand’s range, including onto the Electric.
The Shadow Edition adds stealthy styling to the Mini, coming painted in Midnight Black, while full black alloy wheels and a complete dechromed look help to darken its appearance further. A raft of decals are also applied to the exterior. It’s also based on the flagship L3 trim level, meaning you get all manner of goodies included as standard. But is it worth considering? Let’s take a look.
This is a special edition purely focused around style, and it means Mini hasn’t made any changes to the Electric’s zippy powertrain.
So the same front-mounted electric motor remains, kicking out 181bhp and 270Nm of torque – figures not dissimilar from the standard petrol Cooper S hot hatch. The sprint from 0-60mph takes just 7.1 seconds, with the top speed capped at 93mph.
Like the standard car, though, the Mini makes do with a relatively small 32.6kWh battery, and only 28.9kWh is usable. It is considerably smaller than many rivals (an electric Vauxhall Corsa has a 50kWh battery, for example), and means the Mini Electric does have a rather limited range of 141 miles (claimed).
A small battery means it will be quicker to charge, though, especially when using a 50kW rapid charger, which remains the most commonplace. You’ll need just over half an hour to take the battery to 80 per cent charge, while you could also about get away with plugging it in at home using a three-pin socket too for a full overnight charge.
Ride and handling
Minis are renowned for their fun driving experience, and none of that charm has been lost on the Electric. In fact we’d argue that it’s actually more enjoyable due to the sheer responsiveness of the motor and way it can quickly get up to speed.
It remains good fun to drive in the corners too, and though the batteries do make it heavier than a petrol model, you can still throw it into a corner with confidence. It really is remarkably agile and nimble by EV standards – only the Honda e is able to get close to it.
The only slight downfall is that the ride is a touch firm as a result of this sportier approach, not particularly helped by the larger 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to the Shadow Edition.
Inside, the Mini Electric is without doubt one of the most upmarket small cars on sale today. The material quality is superb, while with its toggle switches and circular displays, it manages to be charming at the same time.
In the centre of the dash there’s an 8.8-inch touchscreen housed within the round display, while a small digital display replaces conventional dials, though it isn’t quite as clear as you would hope.
As with any Mini Hatch, practicality remains the sore point, and though front seat room is generous, if you regularly aim to carry adults in the rear seats or need a decent amount of boot space, this isn’t the EV for you.
As we’ve mentioned, the Shadow Edition is based on the flagship Level 3 version, and it really is brimmed to the rafters with equipment.
It’s quite remarkable how much has been crammed into the Mini, from its plush leather seats to panoramic sunroof and heated seats, there’s no shortage of upmarket features. There’s also plenty of tech included, such as Matrix LED headlights, a Harman Kardon sound system and a head-up display.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that neither the regular Mini Electric or this Shadow Edition aren’t the bargain of the century.
With the Shadow Edition starting from a steep £32,395 (inclusive of the plug-in car grant), it’s around £6,500 more than the standard EV. That said, it’s only around £550 than the regular L3.
Electric cars don’t get much more charming than this Mini. It really is huge fun to drive, while still looking cool and having a particularly upmarket interior by small car standards.
Though the cost of this Shadow Edition does make it harder to recommend, if you crave the ultimate electric Mini and don’t mind paving for the privilege, you really won’t be disappointed.Enquire on a new Mini Electric