But the results look fantastic.
The Mini Cooper SE marks the brand's first foray into the world of EVs. It won't be the last either, as Mini has confirmed it will be joined by two electric crossovers. Before the Mini Cooper SE arrived, British firm Swindon Powertrain presented the Classic Mini Electric, marrying the original Mini's vintage design with a modern electric powertrain. It isn't cheap, however.
At £79,000 ($101,788), the Classic Mini Electric is more expensive than a Tesla Model X and Audi e-tron, with production limited to 100 examples. If, however, you already own an original Mini and want to electrify it, Swindon Powertrain is now letting you convert it into an electric city car.
The conversion kit replaces the original Mini's combustion engine with the company's HPD E Powertrain system that's mounted to an original classic Mini front subframe with the necessary brackets required for installation. New CV joint housings support standard Mini driveshafts and come with a standard differential or an optional limited-slip differential. Optional components include a 12-kWh battery pack that fits under the original hood, a motor controller, onboard charger and DC-DC converter, speed sensor kit, and cooling system pump.
While adding an electric powertrain could have made the Mini much heavier and sacrifice the car's signature go-kart-style handling, the entire kit weighs just over 154 pounds. The powertrain is rated at 80 kW (107 hp) continuous and 120 kW (160 hp) peak, but no range details are available. For reference, the Mini Cooper SE has an EPA-rated driving range of 110 miles.
"We've registered over 500 requests for more information on the HPD E system since it launched, many of which are classic Mini owners who are looking to convert their cars to run on electric power," said Commercial Director Gerry Hughes. "We have tried to make our kits as easy to use as possible, re-engineering and re-designing the package so that it fits perfectly in a classic Mini, and offer our clients the ability to take just the HPD E Powertrain system or purchase extra, optional EV parts."
Pricing for the conversion kit starts at £8,850 (approximately $11,535) for the electric motor and transmission, but the battery costs another £16,000 ($20,874). Adding the control electronics costs an extra £3,860 ($5,034), and the charger another £1,950 ($2,543). That's a total cost of around $40,000, which is about $10,000 more expensive than a new Mini Cooper SE. Deliveries for the Classic Mini Kit start in December.