COM SE, COM SA. ELECTRIC ENERGY & OTHER ODDITIES

Performance car of the year 2022 Shootout 1: Raptor, I-Pace & electric Mini

The only thing these cars really share is that there’s an SE at the end of each of their names! Still, you’re likely shocked that we’ve allowed a couple of electric cars and a bakkie in on Performance car of the year. But there’s good reason. If we don’t get on that electric bandwagon, we may well be lost. Sooner than you may want to believe. So welcome to tomorrow, in a sense. And that Raptor’s incredible off-road capability is a high performance landmark all on its own.

SE: PERFORMANCE WITH AN ELECTRIC DIFFERENCE!

The Ford’s SE badge means Special Edition. It’s a cosmetic update for the bakkie that escaped the Dakar paddock. SE means about the same thing in the Jaguar – it donates its premium status. Not sure why carmakers insist on making electric cars look daft. Not that the I-Pace is too typical of that trait, but it’s different. And divisive. The lovechild of an i3 and a Cooper S, Cooper SE – that E is for electric, by the way – is otherwise identical to the petrol Cooper S.

There’s not much more than a little red stitching to differentiate the SE from the regular Raptor’s Tech Suede trimmed cabin. It’s just a hopped up bakkie, after all. Spacious and airy, if a bit dark, the Jaguar’s cabin is a cool space. Not perfect, it has its issues and quirks. But it’s quaint. And the primary bits are all cool. The Mini carries the conventional Cooper S cabin over, bar a few trim changes. To remind you that it has battery power.

Raptor SE only has the regular Ranger Wildtrak’s 157 kW 500 2-litre bi-turbodiesel turning the usual 4×4 drive via a 10-speed automatic. Let’s just say it doesn’t have enough engine for its fine chassis. The Jaguar has an electric motor on each axle. It delivers 294 kW and 696 Nm with a deep and distant animal roar as it sets about its rapid electric business. The heavier electric Cooper SE’s single motor delivers the same 135 kW to the front wheels that its petrol sister does. Aided and abetted by 275 Nm of twist.

SO SPECIAL IN QUITE DIFFERENT WAYS

The electric Mini matches the petrol Cooper S to 100 at a snappy 6.7 seconds. But it runs out of speed at the end of the quarter-mile. The Jaguar sets you back in the seat and chases the horizon like Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars fighter pod. Its 4.3 second 100 km/h places it in the middle of this Performance car of the year pack. You need a pretty sharp tool from the petrol box to beat that. The Ranger, while quick among turbodiesel bakkies, is just not quick enough. Maybe the next one?

The Raptor’s strong point is however unmatched in the market right now. It has radical suspension with incredible axle movement. It handles like a race truck, soaks up anything you throw at it and rewards the driver with stupendous ability. The Jaguar handles well. But you do sense its heft and you must adapt to its regenerative braking. The Mini packs its extra 145 kg further aft an inch lower in the car. Good for road holding and ride too. Chuckable despite its heft, Cooper SE is easy to drive too.

The Raptor’s only real compromise that it is rather under-engined. Something we trust that new one will soon overcome. The other Mini Cooper SE suffers from a total lack of performance beyond 150 km/h. Around where it also devours its already limited driving range at an even more alarming rate. Speaking of which, 217 kilometres range is horrible. And that same range anxiety applies to the Jaguar, which doesn’t quite meet its albeit less limited 470 km driving range. All three of these vehicles also come at a premium.

AND THAT’S WHY THESE CARS ARE HERE

The Ford Ranger Raptor has however rewritten the bakkie record books for good. With off-road performance like never before. A voyage of discovery, the Jaguar I-Pace has reinvigorated our electric spark. Good to drive, it has its compromises, but it’s a lot of fun and it brings a different and exciting electric spin to driving. And the Mini Cooper SE is a compelling ‘little’ EV in its own right. All of which is why we allowed these frisky electric motors and a purpose built bakkie onto Performance car of the year 2022.

Which leads us to the crux: Sooner or later, we’ll all have to experience driving electric That’s why I-Pace goes through to the Pcoty top three.

PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR 2022 SHOOTOUT 1
              Ford Ranger    Jaguar I-Pace Mini
              Raptor SE      EV400 AWD SE  Cooper SE
Output:       157 kW 500 Nm  294 kW 696 Nm 135 kW 275 Nm
Engine/Motor: 2000cc biturbo Twin electric Electric
              diesel I4
Drive:        10-speed       Direct        Direct
automatic     4WD            AWD           FWD
TESTED:
0-100 km/h:   9.69 sec       4.35 sec      6.75 sec
0-160 km/h:   28.80 sec      15.00 sec     -
400m time:    16.9 sec       12.7 sec      14.9 sec
400m speed:   131 km/h       171 km/h      148 km/h
80-120 km/h:  7.45 sec       2.79 sec      4.18 sec
120-160 km/h: 14.83 sec      4.85 sec       -
CLAIMED:
VMax:         190 km/h       200 km/h      151 km/h
Fuel:         8.3 l/100km    0 l/100 km    0 l/100 km
CO2:          220 g/km       0 g/km        0 g/km 
Warranty:     4y 120K        5y unl.       2y unl.
Service:      6y 90K km      2y 34K km     5y 100K km
LIST PRICE:   R950K          R1.99M        R686K
RATED:        8              9             7
Performance car of the year 2022 Program
Pcoty ‘22 Introduction
Audi RS 6 Avant
BMW M5 Competition
Ford Ranger Raptor SE
Jaguar I-Pace
Mercedes-AMG A45 S
Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
Mini Cooper SE
Toyota GR Yaris
Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI      
Pcoty ‘22 Electric Shootout
Pcoty ‘22 Super Hatch Shootout
Pcoty ‘22 Super Saloon Shootout
Pcoty '22 Top Three
Pcoty ‘22 Winner
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