Going nearly electric

Traded in the F56 MINI Cooper for an F60 MINI Countryman SE, a “Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle” (PHEV). Delighted to learn that much like how the BMW i8 re-uses the F56 1.5L 3 cylinder engine, the Countryman SE is basically a BMW i8 drivetrain detuned and flipped 180 degrees. The engine goes up front to maintain front-wheel-drive vibes (remember, it’s a MINI!), and the electric motor goes in the back. The all electric range is laughable (14-ish miles), but it turns out we rarely drive more than that on a typical weekday, at which point it’s back in the garage and charging. I haven’t had to refill gas in over two weeks, at this rate I’m looking at a semi-monthly fill-up.

Will I miss driving with a manual transmission? My left foot keeps pressing at a phantom clutch pedal when I start the car. My right hand keeps hopping off the wheel, and reaching for a stick shift at stop lights. Ask me again in a couple months. I think it’ll gradually become like that weird “I’m back in high school, it’s exam day, and I forgot to study” dream you still get decades after you’ve graduated.

I hope they figure out how to release a Plant Oxford manufactured electric MINI in the US. The Aceman looks like a fun time, I’m super jealous they’re getting it over in the EU and not us.