This is the new Mini E, a pure-electric version of the company’s popular hatchback.Sadly it’s not a full production car just yet. The Mini E is a project designed to investigate how viable an all-electric Mini would be. Between 500 and 1000 examples will be made and leased out to selected customer in New York, LA, New Jersey and possibly London, cities where the necessary recharging infrastructure is already in place.See our gallery of 16 imagesThe Mini E relies on the latest lithium-ion battery technology to power a 204bhp electric motor that puts out 162lb ft of torque. This drives the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox that is mounted where a standard Mini’s rear passenger seats are usually found. Kinetic energy created under braking is also stored in the Mini E’s batteries. Recharging takes place via a specially adapted electric socket (which replaces the fuel filler cap), and takes around eight hours for a full charge. This gives the Mini E a range of around 150 miles. The Mini E is focused on city running and conserving energy, so Mini has limited its top speed to just 95mph. But even with a kerb weight of 1465kg – some 260kg of which is the battery pack alone – the Mini E manages to accelerate to 62mph in 8.5sec. Energy consumption is put at around 4.4 miles/kWh. The Mini’s suspension has been reworked with revised springs and damping to cope with the awkward weight distribution, but engineers claim that it could keep up with its conventional siblings. Despite its project status, the Mini E also conforms to all US safety laws and has been extensively crash tested.The Mini E will make its public debut at next month’s Los Angeles motor show.