Click above for a high-res gallery of the MINI E's unveiling

Is the new MINI E sold out? If by "rented through," yes, it looks like you may have missed your opportunity to be a beta tester for BMW's new electric Cooper.

BMW is leasing around 500 of the diminutive hatchbacks at a cost of $850-a-month (including insurance) for one year in the New York/New Jersey metro area as well as Southern California, and according to a new Bloomberg News story, applicants for the program have outnumbered the cars by more than a 4-to-1 ratio, though there is always the possibility that not all of the cars have been doled out yet.

If you're still pondering how you might be able to muscle your way to the front of the queue, be prepared for some changes from your everyday motoring routine. For one, the MINI E's range is limited to 120 miles, at which point you'll have to plug the car into the 220-volt outlet you've had installed in your garage. If you're stuck away from home, you can plug the MINI E into a 110-volt wall outlet, but be prepared to wait-a charge takes about 26 hours (versus around three for the 220-volt outlet). Beyond that, expect for MINI to require you to keep track of your driving experience with a diary and various online surveys.

Despite all of the various hoops to jump through, we're not at all surprised to learn that the opportunity to noiselessly motor about in a zero-emissions Cooper has charmed more than 2000 lease applicants. Given the brand's fanatical (and generally well-heeled) following, we're almost surprised that the number isn't higher. So don't feel bad if you applied for a MINI E of your very own, only to get turned down. Besides, there's always the PML MINI QED...

[Bloomberg News]

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