The MINI Recharged project sees the venerable old A-Series engine replaced with an emission-free drivetrain – but crucially, it’s all reversible.
The idea has been on the boil for some time, even before the firm’s current MINI Electric was launched. A one-off classic Mini Electric was built in 2018 and presented at the New York Auto Show. MINI says the positive reaction prompted it to set up a team to develop a commercial kit for classic Mini owners.
The Mini’s combustion engine is switched for a 90kW (121bhp) electric motor that can propel it from 0-62mph in around nine seconds, which is around a second half quicker than a 1960s 1275 Cooper S. MINI has not specified the size of the battery but says it can be charged with an output of up to 6.6kW and has a range of around 100 miles. Every electrified classic Mini will be fitted with a twist on the classic oval dash binnacle, which now displays the motor temperature, the selected gear, range and speed.
MINI says the project allows a classic Mini to begin a second, more sustainable life. No new vehicles are being produced for this project, instead they are being created from much-loved, existing cars, with each given a unique individual number. Every step of the conversion is reversible, and the original engine will be marked and stored so that it can be reused in future if required. The conversion does not require the vehicle to be re-registered, and also means it can be used in stringent emission zones.
Bernd Körber, Head of the MINI Brand said, “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.”
MINI has yet to give pricing for the MINI Recharged project, or full details on when it will be launched.