Mini Now Offering To Electrify Classic Models

Classic Cars / 2 Comments

EV powertrain gives the tiny classic modern appeal, but the enhancements are completely reversible.

The brainchild of Alec Issigonis and Britain's answer to the people's car, the inimitable Mini has become a cultural icon. The innovative compact not only took to Europe's racing and rally circuits but dominated the silver screen in iconic films such as The Italian Job and The Bourne Identity.

It's equally adored by car fans who, in recent years, have scooped the Mini up as a collectible classic. This has prompted myriad companies to offer modern enhancements or resto-mods. Mini's owner BMW is the latest to jump on the bandwagon, providing the latest. Dubbed Mini Recharged, classic Minis are being converted to electric power.

While some dyed-in-the-wool classic car aficionados will consider this sacrilege, BMW/Mini notes that, if Issigonis had the chance to design the Mini today, it would be electric. "After all, the original launched in 1959 was created during an oil crisis and based on the idea of saving fuel and transporting four occupants and their luggage in the smallest possible footprint."

BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini

The idea was borne out of a positive reaction to a one-off Classic Mini Electric that was first seen at the 2018 New York Auto Show. An influx of interest spurred the company to create a dedicated team at the carmaker's Oxford plant. Now, this service is available to all customers who own a classic Mini.

Out goes the gasoline-powered engine, replaced by a modern electric drivetrain. In order to preserve as much as possible, only reversible changes are made to the vehicles, while careful handling of all components ensures the Mini's historical heritage remains intact. In fact, Mini marks and stores each original engine, should a future owner ever want to restore it back to its original condition.

The modern electric motor produces approximately 122 horsepower, providing a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of nine seconds. The high-voltage battery can be charged with an output of up to 6.6 kW, with a predicted range of 100 miles. Part of the Mini's charm is its spartan but well-designed interior, replete with gorgeous gauges. The style remains, but now displays drive temperature, range, speed, and selected gear.

BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini

The boisterous exhaust note may be gone, but for some UK customers, the electrification of their classic Mini gives untold benefits. London has numerous low-emission driving zones, which is often costly for motorists to commute through. The electric Mini will be allowed in without any congestion charges.

Currently, the "bespoke upcycling" is being carried out in the United Kingdom only. Each vehicle receives an individual number, signaling its authenticity. "What the project team [is] developing preserves the character of the classic Mini and enables its fans to enjoy all-electric performance. With Mini Recharged, we are connecting the past with the future of the brand," says Bernd Korber, Head of the Mini Brand.

In the US, Mini sells an all-electric version of its current-generation three-door. Dubbed the Cooper SE, it's capable of traveling up to 114 miles on a single charge, with the battery able to charge to 80% in just 36 minutes (on a 50 kW quick charger). Zero to 60 mph takes just 6.9 seconds, just 0.5 seconds slower than the gas-powered Cooper S.

BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini BMW/Mini

Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top