The original MINI seems to be the perfect candidate for a powertrain transplant. Back in November 2020, we reported on Swindon releasing a Mini conversion kit, allowing owners to swap out their combustion engine for an electric powertrain. Now, engineer’s at MINI in Oxford have developed an official EV conversion for classic MINI’s – MINI Recharged.
The new drivetrain, which is fully electric, is capable of producing 121bhp, significantly more than the standard classic MINI engine. MINI Recharged will replace the engine with an electric motor and battery. Interestingly, they will store the vehicle’s original running gear for the customer in case they ever want to switch it back.
The electric motor MINI recharged will be installing can achieve 0-62mph in an impressive 9 seconds. The majority of classic MINI’s weren’t known for speed, so this EV upgrade will undoubtedly give them a new fun lease of life. The range is quoted at 99 miles from a single full charge.
While the majority of the work will be mechanical, MINI Recharged will also install a bespoke instrument cluster displaying gear selection, drive temperature, predicted range and speed. There are also some more options customers can choose to add if desired.
The MINI has a reputation as an economical city car, so it makes sense to convert these lovable and iconic classics giving them renewed life, especially in ULEZ areas. As the world moves towards electric-powered vehicles in an attempt to reduce emissions, many are considering making their classic electric.
Low emission zones are becoming considered by more councils. Birmingham followed Lon don’s lead, and Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton are planning their own. Unfortunately, most classic cars don’t have low enough emissions and have to pay fees to enter these zones.
MINI boss Bernd Korber said: “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.”
While no price has been announced yet, expect this upgrade to cost around the price of a new car. Similar offerings by third parties come in around £25,000. Factor in the storage of your original running gear and the fact that this is a factory conversion, and the cost is likely to be even higher.
MINI recharged is a fantastic option for owners of classic vehicles; it will, however, come with a price. Savings will be returned over the long term, though with no petrol or ULEZ charges. To some, this will seem like sacrilege, which is why it’s a nice idea that MINI will keep the original running gear. This means those that go ahead don’t need to worry about it potentially devaluing their vehicle.