Though BMW’s Minis have been with us for around half the time the Issigonis-designed original was on sale, the cute retro hatches have become so familiar over the past 20-odd years that for many people they are Mini.

But that idea of what constitutes a Mini might need some recalibration from here on in. Okay, so the latest transformation isn’t quite as dramatic as the one that saw the first BMW car replace the arthritic rubber-sprung, four-speed original. But a sophisticated design overhaul, dedicated EV architecture and brilliant fusion of old and new inside makes the new 2025 Mini feel like it’s skipped an entire generation.

Related: 2024 MINI Countryman Debuts With A Larger Body And Up To 308 HP Of Electric Power

Even the name has changed. Going forward the Mini hatch will be known as the Cooper, a name that was previously only applied to certain versions of the hatch in most markets. But other cars in the Mini lineup – including the new Countryman, which was also revealed today – will also get to use the Cooper name when the performance JCW (John Cooper Works) trim is selected.

The good news for those who are quite happy with the more cartoonish, ICE-powered current Mini hatch is that it will live on alongside the new China-built EV following a mild refresh, though so far BMW has only revealed the EV.

Up To 215 HP And 250 Miles Of Range

The Cooper EV comes in two configurations, both front-wheel drive and both of them packing more muscle than the Cooper and Cooper S ICE Minis we’re used to. At the foot of the range there’s the Cooper E, whose single motor makes 181 hp (135 kW / 184 PS) and 214 lb-ft (290 Nm) of torque, which can hit 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and travel for 190 miles (305 km) on a full charge of its 40.7 kWh battery. The current electric Mini Cooper SE matches it for power and performance, but its 145-mile (233 km) WLPT range looks poor in comparison.

Step up to the Cooper SE and your Mini’s single motor now makes 215 hp (160 kW / 218 PS) and 243 lb-ft (330 Nm), the sprint time drops to 6.7 seconds and a bigger 54.2 kWh battery boosts range to 250 miles (402 km). The SE also gets a faster charge rate (95 kW vs 75 kW), though it’s still slow in absolute terms and its larger battery means both need the same 30 minutes to top up from 10 to 80 per cent. Alternatively you can hook up to an 11 kW AC supply.

Less Mini, More BMW

Your never going to mistake the 2025 Cooper for anything other than a Mini. One look at that face is all you need. But this is a far more mature, sophisticated Mini, that moves away from the cheeky retro template to deliver something with a far greater premium vibe.

There are more straight lines where once there were curves, and more emphasis on the painted metal surfaces than plastic add-ons or chrome embellishments. It’s like the old Mini was decked out in athleisure gear and the new one has a designer shirt and pants, but ones cut to show off those gym-honed muscles. Just check out the chiselled, almost BMW M2-like rear quarters, the unadorned wheelarches and classy flush door handles. This isn’t the Mini we’ve come to know. It’s a proper baby BMW.

The grille isn’t too different from the one on the old electric Cooper SE, but the wide hood, with its raised center section, blinking front headlight eyes and new triangular-shaped taillights contribute to a stronger, more grown-up look that’s going to be better matched to optional 17- or 18-inch wheels than the stock sixteens.

Interior: Mid-Century Meets Modern

Related: 2025 MINI Cooper Goes All-In On Circular Display That Offers Gaming And A Dog Avatar

A Mini that looks this different on the outside deserves an equally radical interior overhaul, and the design team doesn’t disappoint. While the exterior style has moved further away from its retro roots, the cabin has gone the other way, cleverly using modern technology to breathe new life into classic design elements like the trademark central touchscreen that’s shaped like the speedo on an original ’59 Mini.

Previous modern-era Minis crammed a rectangular digital peg into a round hole and it never looked right. But for the first time the 2025 car gives us a fully circular OLED touchscreen which is the only physical display on a simplified dash whose horizontal air vent and oval switch panel are also cribbed from the OG Mini’s style book.

Having to look across to the center display is unsafe and inconvenient, though, so BMW has added an optional head-up display that delivers all the information you’d normally expect from a digital gauge cluster without spoiling the simplicity of the stylish dash. And to save you reaching your hand across to physically operate the screen, the 2025 Cooper comes with a voice-activated Intelligent Personal Assistant whose avatar can take the form of a Mini or a dog named Spike.

Four Grades, Seven Modes

 2025 Cooper EV Is A Grown-Up Premium Hatch That’s More Baby BMW Than Mini

In addition to its two powertrain options, the new Cooper comes with a choice of four trims. Bottom-rung Essential Trim features black sports seats, a simple textile band on the dashboard and silver trim both inside and also outside where it’s designed to contrast with the black grille. Next up is Classic Trim, which gets a two-tone textile fabric for the doors and dash, a three- rather than two-spoke steering wheel and synthetic leather upholstery.

Favoured Trim serves up a two-tone houndstooth pattern on the dash and door fabric, plus perforated Vescin sports seats and a silver grille, while the JCW range-topper turns things a shade darker. It comes with red stitching for its black faux-leather sports seats, a gloss-black grille and more aggressive front and rear bumpers that can be accentuated by optioning a Chili Red roof or black bonnet stripes.

But that’s not where the character-changing possibilities end because drivers also get to choose from seven driving modes. Three main modes – Core, Green and Go-Kart – let you tweak the throttle response, regen level, synthesized soundtrack and look of the infotainment display, while four more (Balance, Timeless, Personal and Vivid) let you dig deeper into the personalization vein, even adding your own images to the display.

Mini hasn’t revealed prices for the new Coopers, but we can expect to hear more when the cars make their public debut at next week’s Munich auto show. European sales will likely start in spring 2024, with the revised ICE hatch following in the summer. That means a 2025 model-year debut in North America for both cars.

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