Sometimes you have to go back to go forward. Other times you have to bring the old into the future like moving away from a supercharged to turbocharged MINI. But like with anything changed it leaves you in two minds. Is it better or has the charmed lost like modifying a MINI to the JDM life with a HUGEEE time attack wangggg
MINI decided in their wisdom to take an Iconic Classic Mini rip out the internals and replace the unreliable engine with an electric motor and battery pack. This undertaking was a one-off by BMW/MINI to show where the brand would be going in the future. We were teased before by the R56 MINI E concept had been shown and testing in 2008 but no purchasable model. However, this was revisited in 2017 with MINI E Concept for the F56 3rd Gen MINI but this time it’s destined for a 2019 arrival in showrooms for MINIacs & consumers to buy.
What was lost in the transformation? Not much to be honest : )
So there is no engine, no exhaust system, no petrol tank and no rear bench. 30 lithium-iron phosphate batteries replace the full tank, but the batteries are mounted behind the front seats. They were installed there to match the weight of the Classic Mini which is 770kg. Power is now at 38 BHP with the electric motor but it’s still connected to the original gearbox!! This was done by two pulleys – one pulley is flange-mounted at the engine with another at the gearbox which is connected with a toothed belt. All these glorious things mean that even though it has the electric motor it has all the gears, so you row through them #SaveTheManual
This unique Classic Mini now has a top speed of 75mph with 65 miles of range, and it takes about four hours to fully charge from a 220V house outlet.
Given the weight is the same and there is instant power & torque on tap, and the manual box is still there! The Mininess is still there so can dart around town into this space and gaps for instant go-karting fun.
It ironic how the classic MINI has been reinvented during this time as back in 1959 the Mini was created to solve a similiar issue of the fuel crisis. Our crisis is relating to fuel as we look to move away from fossil fuels to save our planet after years of destruction by Man. We need to create clean energy and friendlier ways of transport for the masses as we move to a new era for future generations and life to share the world responsibly.
Hopefully, the humble Mini can change the world again like it did in 1959 as it marks its 60th birthday this year in 2019 as full production F56 MINI SE hits the showrooms.
If you want to make the change over to ampage with your Classic Mini you can with the help of Swind but it comes at the heartbreaking price of £79,000
Here is what you get for monies:
Combining the iconic original Mini with a state-of-the-art electric motor, electronics and battery, delivering a zero-emission top speed of 80mph and a range of 125 miles, this is the classic of the future. Acceleration of 0-60mph in just 9.2 secs, 30-50mph in 4.3 secs and regenerative braking, the E Classic can hold its own in city traffic. Its lower centre of gravity, compared to the original (reduced by 44mm), delivers enhanced performance and handling.
The bespoke electric motor, electronics and battery has been developed by Swindon Powertrain and uses cutting-edge lithium-ion cells which produce 80kW of power to deliver a zero-emission top speed of 80mph and a range of 125 miles. Removal of the petrol tank has increased boot space to 200 litres with a full charge takes just four hours using the widely available female type-2 connector.
While retaining the original character, the E Classic has had a makeover with a raft of modern features under its skin to ensure it can be used year-round including heated leather seats, front and rear heated screens, underfloor heating and USB charging points. Options include infotainment and sat-nav system, power steering, full-length sliding fabric roof, air conditioning and a range of bespoke exterior colours.
The option of changing over is expensive like anything else that is first gen, but hopefully, over time the pricing will change and becomes a simple DIY kit or conversion by a specialist at £3,000 but those days are far away.
Maybe classic Mini owners can keep their Minis going on for many years to come with a resto-mod like MINI or Swind has done or do they go the other way a keep it classic & original parts intact.
Here is a quick look from the past to the modern day production of the Mini/MINI
What’s your take as we head towards the electrified future? Watts or keep it old school – Let me know in the comments below or on social media.
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