Classic Mini with electric powertrain and $150k price-tag revealed
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The Mini might be celebrating its 60th birthday this year but one UK manufacturer has decided to give it a new lease of life.
Swindon Powertrains - a British technology company based in Swindon - has created the first production electric classic Mini, which will debut at the London Classic Car Show this week. The Swind E Classic Mini combines a fully-restored body with a new-age electric powertrain that produces the equivalent of 110bhp, good enough for a top speed of 128km/h and a range of 201km.
The only sticking point is the price of £79,000 (NZ$148,000), which is more than you'd pay for a flawless 1959 original version.
The electric powertrain has been developed in-house by the firm at its state-of-the-art Wiltshire facility. The aim was to create something that had all the character and nippiness of the legendary Mini but with zero-emissions.
Designers have managed to retain the lovable classic looks, compact proportions and spirit of the original Mini, but powering the wheels is a bespoke 80 kilowatt motor and single transmission. The electric motor is linked to a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery that takes around four hours to charge from a type 2 connector.
How does that translate to performance?
A sprint to 96km/h from a standstill takes 9.2 seconds. The top speed is just 32km/h higher than that. The addition of the battery and electric motor means some extra weight, too. Though it tips the scales at 720kg, it's around just 80kg heavier than the original but has more balanced weight distribution.
The removal of the fuel tank also means extra room in the boot, with the British maker claiming there's 200 litres of luggage space available.
Each car will be fitted with corrosion protection together with upgraded brake and suspension parts to ensure it's substantially easier to live with - and keep running - than other classics.
There are a few extra features that owners of Minis in the 1960s could only have dreamed of.
This includes USB charging ports, underfloor heating, heated leather seats and front and rear windscreen. That £79,000 can also be increased with a range of options, including an infotainment and sat-nav system, power steering, a full-length sliding fabric roof, air conditioning, performance tuning packs and bespoke paint colours.
Just 100 versions will be built for a global customer base. That means the Wiltshire firm will build one with left- or right-hand-drive, depending on the requirement of the buyer. Each version is sold with an unlimited mileage one-year warranty and MOT.
Swindon Powertrains says the car has been tested thoroughly, with a mule version completing over 10,000 real-world miles along with thousands of hours of virtual simulations of the bespoke powertrain.
This isn't the first time we've seen the British icon refreshed as a electric car.
BMW created a Classic Mini Electric prototype last year. The fully electrified restoration had a range of 105km and a top speed of 120km/h. Jaguar also famously recreated the Electric E-Type for the price of £350,000 each - one of which was used by Harry and Meghan during last year's royal wedding.
Swindon Powertrains director Raphael Caillé said the small production run was a world first and should attract customers who are fans of both classic cars and future technology.
"The classic Mini has such a special place in people's hearts, not only in the UK but around the world," he said.
"The packaging of Sir Alec Issigonis' 1959 design was truly ground-breaking and now we are making it relevant again. Its compact size and good visibility, together with contemporary performance and handling, makes it a car you'll want to drive in the city and put a smile on your face."
The question is, would you be willing to pay £80,000 (NZ$150,000) for one, especially when you consider a Tesla Model S only costs just $6,000 more.
- Daily Mail