MINI RECHARGED is MINI’s official answer for those wanting to convert their classic Minis to electric and we’ve driven it! But does it still feel like a Mini? And could it be a blueprint for other MINI electric conversions? We find out.
In many ways the classic Mini was a revolution in mobility not that different than a modern electric car. It was a car that rethought everything and in the process introduced new and novel ideas to the automotive world. And they stuck, influencing almost every small to mid-size car in the decades that followed. But can it still be relevant today? In our short time with the car the answer is yes, and no.
Recharged Heritage Limited (MINI’s exclusive partner for the program)
has engineered the car to maintain the same weight and weight distribution as the original. Add to that immediate torque and you have a classic Mini that does 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds and drives like the classics we all know and love.
And before you ask, it could go faster but apparently traction is the limiting factor.
In our short time with the car we were blown away by how normal it all felt. The only interior giveaway is the modified shifter and vintage looking range gauge/ Otherwise you are in a classic Mini.
Recharged Heritage Limited offers the driver the choice between two driving modes: Pure Performance and Sport. In Pure Performance Mode, their electric drive achieves 56 kW/75 hp of torque of 110 Nm at 2,000 rpm, accelerates from 0 to 62 in 11.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of 78mph – equivalent to the Classic Mini 1275 S.
In sport mode, the drive system is equipped with 72 kW/97 hp and 163 Nm at 2,000 rpm, reaching 0 to 62 in 8.5 seconds and travels at a top speed of 92 mph. Both modes are powered by an 18-kWh lithium-ion battery with a predicted range of 103 miles (WLTP). With a 6.6 kW onboard charger, the battery can be charged in three hours on a 7kW wall-box or nine hours on a standard 3-pin plug house connection.
How Can I Get One?
The 107bhp Classic Mini electric comes with 12kW battery and will cost £10,620 including VAT. However there is more cost associated with the procurement of a clear classic Mini and the actual conversion itself. Prices start from £42,500 for the full conversation.
For the time being its only availability is in the UK market. However Recharged Heritage has ambitious to open up shop in the US sometime next year.
Which begs the question – what about the R50/R53 generation of new MINIs? They’re becoming classic cars but they have one Achilles heel – replacement engine parts. In many ways those cars are also an ideal candidate for a similar conversion. We asked that question and stated the case that there might be a market in the US. The team at Recharged Heritage was genuinely interested in the idea, but as with all things, the market will dictate the offering.
So with that said would you be interested in a electric conversion of classic Mini or even an R50 or R53? Let us know below.