For those who want to go electric, but have an attachment (sentimental or otherwise) to a particular vehicle, and have the money to pay for what they want, an EV conversion is the way to go. Until recently, conversions have been the exclusive province of independent specialty shops, but the lively scene is starting to attract interest from OEMs—Ford recently introduced its own crate motor.
Now Mini has gone further, offering complete factory EV conversions for its classic models. Under the Mini Recharged program, classic Austin Mini owners will be able to commission a conversion that will replace the vehicle’s gas engine with an electric motor and a high-voltage battery pack.
The rejuvenated Mini will have a range of about 100 miles, continuous output of up to 90 kW (120 hp), and 6.6 kW charging. The conversion is designed to be reversible—Mini says it will remove the engines and store them, making it possible to “restore the classic Mini to its original condition at a later date.”
The company isn’t offering many more details. What size is the battery, and where will it go? Will the conversion retain all of the vehicle’s passenger and trunk space? Autoweek notes that the current Mini Cooper SE Electric (which is itself a conversion of a gas vehicle) has a 32.6 kWh battery pack and an EPA-estimated range of 110 miles, and speculates that the Mini Recharged will have a smaller pack located where the gas tank was.
The “bespoke upcycling” of the classic Mini will be carried out exclusively in the UK, and Mini has not offered any pricing information (If you have to ask…).
“What the project team are developing preserves the character of the classic Mini and enables its fans to enjoy all-electric performance,” says Bernd Körber, Head of the Mini brand. “With Mini Recharged, we are connecting the past with the future of the brand.”
Sources: BMW, Autoweek