New Car

Refreshed 2022 MINI Cooper SE debuts at Amelia Island

The 2022 Mini Cooper SE alongside the 2009 Mini E

Photo courtesy of MINI

The Amelia Island Concours is an event that features some of the rarest and most desirable vehicles in the world today, but it has increasingly become a launchpad for automakers' latest models. This year, Mini took the opportunity to unveil updates to its Cooper SE. The all-electric car was shown off as an updated 2022 model.

The new Cooper SE features updated front and rear styling, an overhauled interior, and several new color options, including a multi-color roof. The Mini Cooper SE is still one of the more fun-to-drive EVs on the market, as its small size and low center of gravity make it just about the closest thing to a go-kart that can be legally driven on the road.

Mini at Amelia Island 2009 Mini E alongside 2022 Cooper SEPhoto courtesy of MINI

The SE comes standard with an 8.8-inch digital gauge cluster, a heated steering wheel, lane departure warnings, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Pricing remains reasonable, making the Cooper SEthe most attainable EV on sale today, according to Mini. The car's base pricing is held at the previous model year's number, and starts at $29,900. Even after the $850 destination charge is added, the car clocks in at a great price. That's before any federal or state tax credits are applied, which can make the car's final price tumble below $20,000 for many buyers.

The 2022 Mini Cooper SE gets attractive updates and a stellar price, so what's the downside? Well, range is the biggest one. On a full charge, the Cooper SE will only be able to travel 114 miles – a far cry from other EVs' abilities, which can top 300 miles for some cases. To be fair, those vehicles cost more, so it's a tradeoff that buyers will have to negotiate. That range is still more than suitable for an urban commuter, and two major EV publications agree. The car won Urban Green Car of the Year from Green Car Journal and took second place for Greenest Car by Greencars.org.

Mini at Amelia Island Updated 2022 Mini Cooper SEPhoto courtesy of MINI

Joining the 2022 Cooper SE was Mini's first all-electric vehicle, and established the automaker as an early player in the EV space. Mini, along with parent company BMW, used the vehicles as rolling test beds for EV technology, and referred to the first customers as "Electronauts." The cars were only available for a one-year lease at a cost of $850 per month, and offered up to 100 miles of range and 204 horsepower.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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The Roadster's specs are impressive, to say the least.

Tesla

Elon Musk took to a stage in late 2017 to announce a new product, the second-generation Tesla Roadster, and the numbers were impressive, even for a guy known to casually drop massive bombshells in 160 characters or less on Twitter. He pledged a 620-mile range and a 0-60 mph time in 1.9 seconds for the car – impressive specs, to be sure. When Musk unveiled the car, production was scheduled to commence some time in 2020, but as we all now know, last year wasn't a banner year for car manufacturing. In January, he pushed that date back to 2022, but the timeline has slipped again - into 2023 at this point - and that's only if everything goes smoothly between now and then.


Tesla Roadster Supply chain issues have caused delays in the Roadster's release.Tesla


Responding to a tweet on Wednesday, Musk stated that "assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023." That's a pretty big asterisk, given how things have been going over the last 18 months. It's not surprising, though, and Musk acknowledges what we've known for some time now: The global supply chain is a mess, thanks to microchip shortages and pandemic-related closures and delays. "2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages," he said, admitting that "it wouldn't matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship." Again, it's not surprising, but it is most likely frustrating for reservation holders, who've plopped down anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 to hold an order for the Roadster.




Tesla is far from being the only automaker to experience delays, but even if we assume that the rest of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 go smoothly, there's still a lot that can happen. All of Tesla's suppliers would have to get their ducks in a row and there can be no COVID-related production delays. That would also peg 2022 as one of the automaker's flagship years for product releases, with both the Semi and Cybertruck on the schedule. It's possible, but far from guaranteed, that all of those pieces fall into place, making Tesla's 2022 a banner year. As for the Roadster, 2023 could be the year that we're all blown away by its range and acceleration, but recent history suggests that anything can happen at any time, so we won't be holding our breath.

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