Back to the future: Mini reveal classic with an electric twist
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It's all the rage; gutting a classic and giving it a lick of electric-motor youthfulness. Jaguar have done it, Mercury Energy just did it a few weeks ago, and now Mini have joined the party with what they call the classic Mini Electric.
Revealed at the New York International Auto Show, the new cutie mixes the unmistakable minuscule proportions of the original and much-loved Mini with a fully electric power-train similar to that in the BMW i3 and the upcoming fully electric Mini that will be unveiled next year.
Yes, it is based on an original Mini. This is no new-age platform with old panels tacked on.
"The classic Mini Electric combines the historic look of the world’s favourite small car with groundbreaking drive technology for tomorrow's urban mobility, say Mini in their release.
"With this unique vehicle, MINI sends out a clear signal demonstrating its commitment to retaining the brand’s unmistakable character whilst embracing innovative zero local emission technology.
"The classic Mini Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time [ed; ugh], where the story of classic model is extended by a consecutive chapter. The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a sympathetic ambassador for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun."
Got to love some dense marketing drudgery.
Nonetheless, the focus on EVs is clear from Germany's manufacturers, and this does a good job of wetting the collective appetite for Mini's upcoming electric projects, alongside their existing line of plug-ins.
We got a hearty sneak peek of this future last year, when the Mini Electric Concept was unveiled. Some of that car's quirks (namely those Union Jack taillights), have already been confirmed as staying on for next year's new model, which, indeed, will come with an electric option.
Unlike Jaguar, who will turn your E-Type into an EV for a pretty penny, Mini's announcement quietly acknowledges that this little 'restomoded' EV is purely a one-off from the manufacturer.
Not that that's going to stop others from potentially repeating it.