Mini Goes All-Out for Polar Bears, Shows Off Electric Convertible


Mini wants to bring attention to its electric models, so it’s taking a two-pronged approach: showing the plight of the polar bear for sustainability and a convertible for fun.

Mini wants to make sure you know about its Mini Cooper SE electric vehicles. So the automaker has come up with two very different campaigns to tell you about it. One is a one-off concept convertible model, the other is a partnership with Polar Bears International (PBI).

The first one makes us wish Mini would build it, and the second brings awareness to the environmental endangerment of polar bears — and some adorable artwork.

This One’s for the Bears

(Photo/Mini)

The Polaar campaign started out as a nod to Mini’s mascot Spike the Bulldog. Spike was used in the brand’s early ads, though the good doggo isn’t around as much today.

For the new ads, Mini says the company wanted to add some meaning beyond just cute animals. And it wanted a partnership that brought some meaning and impact focusing on sustainability — one of the main points of EVs.

Rah Mahtani, brand communications manager for Mini USA, said:

We hope to inspire Mini USA consumers with a message of sustainability and how together, we can protect our planet. The polar bear is an icon of climate change, and we highlight this species in our Big Love Campaign with a number of ways that American consumers can get involved in protecting the planet.

PBI is only nonprofit that is dedicated to the wild polar bears and Arctic sea ice, the group says. It works to “inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate.”

Mini and PBI said that according to scientists’ predictions, most polar bears could disappear by the year 2100 because of a lack of sea ice. They cite climate models that show an ice-free Arctic summer is likely by midcentury if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates.

Adopt a Polar Bear With Mini

Mini is launching a new page where American audiences can donate to support polar bear conservation; It will also be encouraging site visitors to consider adopting a polar bear. Other efforts throughout the next year include a polar bear-naming social media campaign starting on July 20.

For now, Mini is giving a downloadable certificate to those donating. There’s no physical certificate — an effort to help reduce carbon emissions.

For now, we get a polar bear doing its best impression of a labrador, nose out in the (cold) breeze from a hardtop Mini Cooper SE EV. It’s going to be a tight squeeze to get max bear in mini hatch.

Cooper SE Gets Drop Top

Mini Cooper SE
(Photo/Mini)

And now for the concept: a Mini Cooper SE convertible. It’s a one-off that Mini is showing off for the first time at its Mini Takes the States driving tour event on the East Coast.

The car takes the standard Mini Convertible and trades its driveline for the Mini Cooper SE’s 184-horsepower electric motor. Because the car isn’t much changed from the hardtop, its range should be close to the same 114 miles the hardtop Mini will give you. Mini points out that it offers the same tiny 5.7-cubic-foot trunk too.

It’s not a long-range EV, but it’s the only one that handles like a Mini. For plenty of buyers, that’s exactly the point. Because this so-called concept is really just a parts bin assembly for Mini, it makes us hopeful that the company could actually build it.

Mini Cooper SE
(Photo/Mini)

Mini says that nearly one-third of its vehicles are electrified in Germany, the Cooper SE’s biggest market. That figure could grow with an electric convertible.

Plus, and we say this from experience, big guys (and gals) like that polar bear can fit a lot better in a convertible than they can in a hardtop. Especially if they’re wearing a winter coat and can leave the top down in all four seasons.

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