The Deserted Global All-Electric Convertible Segment: Is There Hope?
The global all-electric convertible segment is currently lacking options, leaving enthusiasts craving for more. While the MG Cyberster and Mini Cooper SE Convertible EV offer some promise, they are limited in availability and numbers, with the former being released in the UK and Europe in the summer of next year, and the latter offering just 999 units exclusively for the European market. However, if you happen to reside in China, there is another alternative that stands out as the most affordable zero-emissions cabriolet money can buy today.
Before we dive into that, let’s delve into some background information. Wuling, a Chinese automaker, has gained significant traction in recent years, particularly with the success of its Mini EV. In fact, the Mini EV ranked as the third-best-selling electric vehicle worldwide in 2020, selling an impressive 443,400 units and nearly surpassing the popular Tesla Model 3. We previously discussed this vehicle when the GameBoy special edition model was introduced, which our colleagues at Wheelsboy had the opportunity to review. Now, Wuling is back at it again, this time with an open-top version of their popular Mini EV.
Presenting the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio, the world’s most affordable electric convertible. Shared exclusively with the Motor1.com audience, the video at the top of this page and the accompanying gallery showcase this unique vehicle’s features. Unfortunately, this budget-friendly convertible is exclusively available in China, starting at approximately $14,000, considering the current exchange rates. To put things into perspective, the most affordable convertible in the United States is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which begins at just below $30,000.
In terms of design, not much has changed compared to the previous iteration of the Mini EV. It retains its peculiar proportions and rides on the same 12-inch wheels. With dimensions measuring 3,059 millimeters (120.4 inches) in length, 1,521 mm (59.9 inches) in width, 1,614 mm (63.5 inches) in height, and a wheelbase of 2,010 mm (79.1 inches), it truly embodies the essence of a small vehicle. One notable difference from other Wuling Mini EV models is the cabriolet exclusively offering seating for two individuals. Additionally, it incorporates a peculiar cargo compartment that can only be accessed from within the car, adding to its distinctiveness.
Now, let’s explore some of the Mini EV Cabrio’s peculiar characteristics. First and foremost, it requires an actual physical key to start the electric car, deviating from the trend of keyless entry and push-start systems. Furthermore, the console retains an archaic radio, which surprisingly maintains Bluetooth connectivity and features three USB ports. These idiosyncrasies give the Mini EV Cabrio a charm of its own.
In conclusion, the all-electric convertible segment may be relatively barren at the moment, but the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio injects a dash of excitement with its affordability and unique attributes. Although limited to the Chinese market, it offers an enticing option for those seeking a budget-friendly electric convertible. While we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the MG Cyberster and the limited-production Mini Cooper SE Convertible EV, the Mini EV Cabrio shines as an appealing alternative for Chinese consumers. With its quirky design and host of unconventional features, this convertible showcases the potential for creative and affordable electric vehicles in the market.