Autocar’s recent review of the Electrogenic Mini is yet another examples of tuning shops dipping their toes in the water of electric classic Mini restomods. The concept is so appealing that MINI UK has created their own kit as part of MINI Recharged and there’s even the forthcoming Paul Smith collaboration that puts the designer’s unique spin on the car. But we think this is just the beginning of a tuning revolution.
The classic Mini isn’t know for it’s engine or even gearbox. It’s the design and immediacy of the handling that is so endearing. What Electrogenic and MINI Recharged do is keep those traditional values intact while vastly improving the drivetrain experience. Put another way we might have mis-givings in turning an E30 M3 into an electric car mainly because that four cylinder is such a part of the entire experience. But in the classic Mini, the engine is frankly one of the weaker parts of the equation.
With Electrogenic’s conversion weight isn’t much of an issue either as the final product is within a few kilos of the original and even uses a five speed manual (sourced from a Citroen C1) to add to the experience.
Like MINI’s official program, MINI Recharged, Electrogenic’s version has a 100 mile range making this a weekend toy or city car for most. And it’s not cheap as the finished product is £32,000 plus a clean donor car.
MINI Recharged fans gain a whole new driving experience; a silent drivetrain with instant acceleration and the ability to enter the electric or low-emission driving zones of many large cities, otherwise inaccessible with a combustion engine. But more than that it feels like the type of experience that Alec Issigonis would have championed from the start.