Converting a classic from gas to EV juice is no stroll down Abbey Road. Luckily for Mini fanatics, the pathway to do so just got a whole lot easier. Enter the Classic Mini Kit from Swindon Powertrain, an affordable EV powertrain conversion package for the DIY-inclined.
The technology made its stylish debut in a Mini back in February of 2019, when the company revealed its adorable E Classic Mini conversions. These limited-run units were partly a modernized ode to Sir Alec Issigonis’ famed 1959 original, but they were also the perfect excuse to display some flashy tech infused into a timeless package at the London Classic Car Show.
With a price tag of over $100,000, however, those conversions weren’t exactly accessible to the common gearhead. Now, Swind has taken a more enthusiast-friendly approach by offering a $10K stand-alone conversion kit, empowering owners to pursue a classic Mini EV swap in an affordable, seamless fashion. (For those new to this firm, Swind is the trading name under which Swindon Powertrain operates.) Even better? Swind will ship the kit stateside.
The kit essentially includes Swind’s HPD E powertrain, bundling its 80kW (120 kW peak) electric crate motor with, perhaps more importantly, a classic Mini subframe that includes all of the custom bracketry required to pair the old with the new. An open differential comes standard, although an optional limited-slip diff is available. Swind gave special attention to the inner CV joints, designing them to accept standard Mini driveshafts trouble-free. EV extras are available for builders seeking to go the distance with Swind products (prices are converted from BPS): a 12-kWh battery pack (~$20,800), motor controller kit (~$5000) and charger/DC-DC converter kit (~$2500).
Swind maintains that interest has been high for this kind of offering, touting 500 inquiries since the launch of its HPD E powertrain. Many of those requests allegedly came from Mini enthusiasts. “We have tried to make our kits as easy to use as possible, re-engineering and re-designing the package so that it fits perfectly in a classic Mini, and offer our clients the ability to take just the HPD E Powertrain system or purchase extra, optional EV parts,” says Swind’s commercial director Gérry Hughes.
Kits are currently available online and open for deposits. A rep at Swindon Powertrain assured us that these packages are available to be shipped to the Americas. Its website notes the kits will be ready to go December 2020, starting at $10,377.60 plus tax and delivery.