Mini Electric Shadow Edition: None more black
The iconic supermini's famous go kart-esque handling and electrified performance, which delivered it from 0-62mph in what I'd swear was a lot less than the official figure of 7.3 seconds, made for a compelling combination. This and the fact that the Cooper S-styled EV also offered proper one-pedal driving and the pleasing comfort of a 'premium' BMW-calibre interior meant I was willing to overlook its slight shortcomings, such as limited boot space and a real world range of just over 100 miles between charges.
However, stick to city driving in a Mini Electric and you'll surely spend the majority of those 100-and-something miles with a smile on your face rather than grimacing with range anxiety.
Having recently got the chance to take another Mini Electric for a spin, this time a 'none more black' Shadow Edition version, I'm happy to report that the driving experience remains as enjoyable as ever in this uber-cool looking version of the iconic car, which should appeal to fans of mockumentary classic This Is Spinal Tap.
Based on Mini's super well-specced Level 3 trim, the Mini Electric Shadow Edition (from £35,050 OTR) features midnight black metallic exterior paint, a panoramic tinted glass roof, black door mirror caps and black 17-inch Tentacle Spoke alloy wheels, plus subtle so grey they're almost black Shadow Edition decals on the wings, bonnet and roof edge.
The monochrome theme continues inside with sporty anthracite headlining and piano black trim, while both dashboard and tread plates also receive special Shadow Edition graphics. Comfy yet 'grippy' John Cooper Works sport seats and a sports leather steering wheel with contrast stitching (in chili red) complete the interior design.
Given its Level 3 DNA, the Shadow Edition comes loaded with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen incorporating the Mini Navigation System plus goodies like a premium Harman/Kardon surround sound DAB audio system, heated front seats, smartphone integration and enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and Parking Assistant, rain sensing wipers, automatic LED headlights/ rear lights and intelligent emergency calling.
All other options available on Mini Electric Level 3 are also available on the Electric Shadow Edition – which, in the case of my test car, meant Electric Yellow door mirror caps (a no-cost option that completely ruined the 'how much more black could it be?' vibe), a heated steering wheel (£250, worth it) and tinted heat-reducing Sun Protection Glass (£250, of limited use in Ireland).
The Shadow Edition is definitely a great looking package, but should its limited production numbers elude you, thankfully it is actually possible to 'murder-out' (as our uncouth American cousins would put it) a standard Mini Electric Level 3 in black-on-black with pretty much everything mentioned above except the Shadow Edition decals for £34,900.
While the government's £2,500 Plug-In Car Grant is sadly now but a fading memory, Mini currently have a special offer running: order any Mini Electric between now and March 31 and you can choose between either £750 towards your deposit or having a Pod Point home charger supplied and installed.
Those who choose to bump up their deposit can still avail of the government-sponsored EV Chargepoint Grant, which pays 75 per cent towards the cost and installation of a home charging unit up to a maximum of £350. This means that, should you use Mini's home charging partner Pod Point, you could get a home charging point fully installed from £449.
Given that the very last combustion engine powered Minis will be produced in 2025, now could be the ideal time to get plugged in.
AT A GLANCE: Mini Electric Shadow Edition
- Price (OTR): £35,050 / £35,695 as tested
- Drivetrain: 32.6kWh lithium ion battery, 136kW electric motor, single-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive
- Top speed: 93mph
- 0-62mph: 7.3 secs
- Power output: 184hp
- Torque: 199lb ft
- Power consumption: 15.8kWh/100km
- Range (WLTP): 145 miles
- Emissions Co2 (g/km): 0
- BIK: 2 per cent
- Insurance Rating: 23E