This one-off all-electric Mini is the cutest way to reducing your carbon footprint
Mini plans to introduce its second all-electric vehicle in 2019, but, perhaps as a cruel taunt, it presented a unique EV conversion of a classic Mini at the New York International Auto Show. The company made it clear it has no intention of building more than just one Mini Electric concept, although we can all admit it that it is almost guaranteed to be cooler and better looking than the actual production car will be. For those keeping track at home the Mini E was the brand’s first EV, available only as a lease.
Mini wont give specifics on the powertrain of this latest project, or even how much power it puts out, but the UK’s Autocar managed to secure a test drive. According to Autocar, the classic Mini Electric is based off of a 1998 Mini Cooper, with the engine, exhaust, gas tank, and rear seats all yanked out. That made room for a 38-hp electric motor up front and 30 lithium-ion batteries fitted behind the front seats.
The Mini Electric concept apparently boasts a top speed of 75 mph and a max range of 65 miles, and it can recharge from a Level 2 (220V) charger in four hours. It also weighs 1697 pounds, which is on par with what the car originally weighed and only about 250 pounds more than what the Cooper S weighed in its heyday in the late ‘60s. This balance of weight and limited range illustrates the compromises that come with converting a classic car to electric-only propulsion.
But an electric Mini is totally consistent with designer Alec Issigonis’ original ideals for the quirky city car, which was meant to be simple, affordable, reliable, and practical. Its front-wheel-drive layout and rubber-cone suspension made it spacious and easy to maneuver, and the mechanical simplicity of an EV fits that mold perfectly. Not to mention the fact that The Italian Job escape could have been a lot more stealth with a silent-running EV.