If you haven’t noticed, electric vehicles are all the rage right now. Many car manufacturers have signed on to the movement and are offering at least one electric model in their 2022 lineup. But Mini is also looking towards its past, and is now offering factory electric conversions for its iconic classic Minis.
The idea first came about when Mini showed off its classic Mini Electric at the 2018 New York Auto Show. The instantly-recognizable British silhouette, combined with the fact that it doesn’t need gas, definitely won some people over. According to Mini, the one-off electric classic received such a positive reaction that a team from the Mini Plant Oxford wanted to make this option available to anyone who owns a classic Mini.
The ability to electrify your classic Mini has been around for a while, but through third-party workshops like London Electric Cars or with conversion kits like those sold by Swind. Not just limited to Minis, many other companies have tapped into this demand for electric conversions of classic cars, like Zero Labs or Lunaz. But, Mini is leading the way by offering a factory-direct conversion for its classic models.
Reversible conversion — The electric conversion for the classic Mini will remove the original gas engine, transmission, exhaust and fuel cap and replace it with an electric motor, a high-voltage battery and a charging port.
The electric conversion actually makes the classic Mini a good deal faster, since it can reach up to about 120 horsepower and go from zero to 60 in around nine seconds. You won’t really get to experience that satisfying engine rumble anymore, since it’ll be replaced with a silent drivetrain and instant acceleration. But you also won’t have to pay for gas, or dump any CO2 into the atmosphere, so I’d say it’s a fair trade. Sorry, not sorry to all you diehard classic car enthusiasts.
Since there’s no use for a fuel indicator, the conversion will also update the car’s dashboard to indicate the remaining range you have on the battery charge instead. The converted car’s battery can be charged with an output of up to 6.6kW and gives you a range of roughly 100 miles at full charge. While that’s not really road-trip material, the converted Mini should definitely be enough for a guilt-free cruise around town.
But maybe one of the best parts about the conversion is that it’s completely reversible. The Mini plant will mark and store your old gas engine if you ultimately decide that electric is not for you and want to switch back.
Electric wave — Mini didn’t put out any pricing details for its classic conversions (we reached out for clarification) but they’re all going to be done in Mini’s factory in Oxford, England. Eventually, Mini is hoping to expand its Mini Recharged program for any owners of models between 1959 and 2000.
Mini isn’t the only car manufacturer embracing the electric car wave. Pretty much all car companies, including Ford, Hyundai, and Mini’s parent company, BMW, are incorporating electric car designs going forward. But man, if Mini is officially signing on for classic car conversions, I hope it’s enough pressure for other companies like Ford, Ferrari or Porsche to offer electric conversions for their old-school classics.