THE e-Mii is a very short production run of electric city cars from Seat.
What is it?
For now you can’t actually buy one.
As part of the brand’s push towards connected cars it’s testing 10 electric Miis with sharable smart keys, but we were able to have a go in Barcelona.
It shares all of the practicality of the standard car, but with the bonus of 100 miles of all-electric range.
While Seat has added an electric powertrain - that’s unsurprisingly similar to the e-Mii’s close Volkswagen sibling, the e-Up! - it doesn’t add any weight to the car.
In fact, according to the carmaker it weighs exactly the same as one equipped with a combustion engine.
If you didn’t know the petrol cap was actually hiding a charging port you’d struggle to tell them apart.
These e-Miis are equipped with a very special trick though, they can be opened with any smartphone as long as you have a digital key.
It sounds complicated, but these are designed for car sharing, so if it’s free and you’ve been approved you’ll be able to drive away in seconds.
What's under the bonnet?
This Seat is equipped with 60kW motor - equivalent to around 80bhp - and 210Nm of torque. That’ll take you from 0 to 60mph in 12.2 seconds and it’s got a top speed of around 80mph.
As with all electric cars it only has one gear thanks to that electric motor - expect instant power and smooth acceleration.
Although there aren’t many details available about the car yet, it does use the powertrain from the e-Up! so expect it to be very similar.
What's it like to drive?
As the e-Mii is so dinky in its proportions, its centre of gravity is kept low and steering is direct.
It does lack a bit of refinement compared to other electric cars, but if you want something that’s responsive with a tight turning circles and enough speed for a city it’s ideal.
However, without any engine braking (due to the lack of gears) you do need to brake harder than you’d expect as, unlike other EVs, there isn’t much effect to be felt from the regenerative braking.
How does it look?
If you’re the sort of person not to be fussed by size then the e-Mii is a car you wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen in either.
All of the 10 examples are finished in a slightly matte bronze finish, which looked glorious in the Barcelona sunshine.
The giveaway that this is the EV model is that the grille has been replaced with a covered section under the badge, but apart from that it is almost identical to the petrol car.
What's it like inside?
Seat has used all the space available to them so you do feel like you’re sat in the corners of the car and over the wheels because, well, you are.
The interior finish is stylish, even if the materials aren’t the best quality.
That’s said, for a plastic finish it doesn’t look cheap. The seats also have a slightly sporty finish, like the ones you’d find in the standard model.
It’s practical too, as there are plenty of storage spaces and while the boot appears deceptively small the space drops all the way to the floor to maximise space for shopping or luggage.
What's the spec like?
As it stands this car won't be making it’s way to any UK showrooms, or anywhere in the world, until at least 2019.
For now it’s only available in exactly the specification and no prices has been unveiled. However, with the e-Up! currently on sale from £25,280 the e-Mii would be expected to slightly undercut that.
The car we test drove was equipped with radio and bluetooth, air conditioning, a USB port but there is little else.
The car’s party piece is the sharable key, which means that if you have Seat’s app you can request a digital key for the car you want to drive.
Your phone will receive this in seconds and allow you to open the car. Once inside you operate it as normal.
If you’re in the market for a small electric city car then the e-Mii ticks all of the boxes.
However, we wouldn’t advise holding your breath for it to appear on the market. If the practical side of things matches you needs, the Volkswagen e-Up! is available to buy now but it’s arguably not as attractive as the Seat.
Price wise a base specification Smart ForFour is priced slightly lower, but if you can stretch your budget slightly then a much more spacious Nissan Leaf is attainable.
This will cater better for those who need more space and more electric range.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Seat e-Mii BEV
Price as tested: N/A
Engine: 60kW electric motor
Power (bhp): 80
Torque (Nm): 210
Max speed (mph): 80
0-60mph: 12.2 seconds
Electric range: 100 miles