The classic Mini is being given a new lease on life for a changing world. Following the showing of an electrified classic Mini at the New York International Auto Show in 2018, a new program called Mini Recharged will offer an electric drivetrain retrofit to owners of classic Minis. BMW describes the Mini Recharged program as an opportunity to continue telling the story of the classic Mini in the 21st century in a sustainable way, and says the project was started after the reaction to the original classic Mini EV proved particularly positive.
The cost of a Mini Recharged electric drivetrain retrofit has not yet been announced, but none of the modifications necessary for the transformation are permanent, and the original gasoline engine is stored for potential future use if the owner wishes to restore the vehicle to original condition. En electric motor with output of 90 kW or approximately 120 horsepower is used, while a battery pack yielding an estimated range of 160 kilometers or 100 miles supplies current. The battery can be charged with output of up to 6.6 kW and BMW lists an acceleration time from zero to 100 kmh (62 mph) of roughly nine seconds.
Inside, instrumentation is replaced with what look to be Smiths gauges that are applicable to an EV, including a temperature dial for the electric motor and a range indicator. There’s also a speedometer and gear indicator, and the entire array occupies the center of the instrument panel.
“What the project team are 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,” explained Bernd Körber, head of the Mini brand.
Numerous large cities in Europe and the U.K. have banned or imposed fines on the use of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles in their densest areas, but with an electric motor in place of its original transverse four-cylinder, an electrified classic Mini from Mini Recharged can once again travel to such places. Moreover, BMW says the conversion does not necessitate new registration.
Conversions performed under the Mini Recharged program are performed exclusively in the U.K., and each one is assigned an individual number. In the future, collaborations with famous artists will also be part of the program.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW Group.]