Mini is to offer an official EV conversion for classic versions of the famous city car.
Third-party firms have been offering electrified versions of the iconic Alec Issigonis design for a few years but now the brand that owns the name is getting in on the act.
The Oxford-based firm says it has created the in-house Mini Recharged programme to meet demand sparked by a one-off classic Mini EV shown at the New York Motor Show in 2018.
It claims the project is a way to extend a vehicle’s life in a sustainable way while retaining the car’s heritage and go-kart-like handling.
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The project will take existing Minis - those built between 1959 and 2000 - and swap out the petrol engine for an all-electric drivetrain.
A new 90kW (121bhp) motor is good for 0-62mph in around nine seconds and Mini says the high-voltage battery (of undisclosed size) is good for up to 99 miles of range on a charge. Charging, however, is a relatively slow 6.6kW affair.
To reflect the change under the bonnet, the famous central instrument cluster has been updated with speed, range, gear indicator and motor temperature gauges that retain the looks of the classic dials.
All the changes are reversible, so the cars can be returned to standard at a later date and Mini will even package up and store each vehicle’s original drive components so they can be refitted if the owner chooses.
Bernd Körber, head of the Mini brand said, “What the project team are 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.”
The brand is keen to point out that the conversion will allow owners to enter urban low-emissions zones free of charge and says individuality will be a key part of cars converted under the Mini Recharged programme.
Sebastian Beuchel, head of Mini global brand management said, "Unique classic Mini models have always been created, including true works of art on wheels. That’s why future collaborations are also planned as part of the Mini Recharged programme, allowing well-known artists to express their creativity with specially designed classic Mini models.”
No prices for the conversion work have yet been announced.