The original Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. A plucky little British icon with a dedicated cult following, news of an electric drivetrain conversion is likely to split opinion. However, powertrain specialists Swind are set to offer a limited run of battery powered Minis for those seeking carbon-free classic motoring – and we think it's brilliant!
To be built in Wiltshire, UK, these modified zero-emissions city cars boast greater performance than the original model, all while retaining those characterful looks. An 80kw electric motor produces around 110 hp, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 9.2 seconds.
Batteries add 80kg to the original 640kg curb weight (now 720kg), with enough range to cover 125 miles on full charge. A lower centre of gravity and improved weight distribution should also sharpen the Mini’s already stellar handling.
To the untrained eye, this little car looks like any other of its kind, that is until you clock the electrical socket for charging its 24kWh battery. The interior also features a few modern touches – such as an optional infotainment system, satellite navigation, USB sockets, and heated leather seats. There’s also more boot space available as the fuel tank has been removed.
Swing offer a choice of six standard colours, but they will create something totally bespoke should your pockets be deep enough — you can even have a full-length sliding fabric roof for those warm summer days.
Swind managing director Raphael Caillé said ‘There have been one-offs and prototypes before, but Swind is the first company to launch such a car to the public. The classic Mini has such a special place in people’s hearts, not only in the UK but around the world. The packaging of Sir Alec Issigonis’ 1959 design was truly ground-breaking and now we are making it relevant again. Its compact size and good visibility, together with contemporary performance and handling, makes it a car you’ll want to drive in the city and put a smile on your face.’
The prototype car pictured has covered over 10,000 miles of testing to ensure that the technology is ready for public use. Should you wish to place an order for the little electric Mini, you’ll need a hefty $101,000. However, that money does give you exclusivity as only 100 cars will be built.
While the notion of modifying classic cars is divisive amongst collectors who may prefer to keep models original, it’s undeniable that the electric restomod scene is bringing renewed interest to the world of classics.
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