Up Close: Mini E

If it weren't for the special yellow badges and graphics plastered all over the Mini E's exterior, it could easily be mistaken for a regular Cooper. Most of the Mini E's modifications are hidden from view, though they do affect the car's interior.

For one, the E doesn't have a backseat. Now, the rear seats in the regular Cooper are barely practical, but you can fold them down to make more room for cargo. Most of the space behind the driver and front passenger in the Mini E is filled by a carpet-covered shelf covering the lithium-ion battery pack that powers the car. There's a little bit of cargo room behind it.

The E's interior will be familiar to fans of the current Mini. Like the exterior, the cabin has been accented with yellow in the form of dash and door trim.

Mini is only making 500 Es available for one-year leases to consumers in California, New York and New Jersey. The monthly payment is a sizable $850, but there's little doubt Mini will find takers for its diminutive electric car.

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