It’s an automotive icon that celebrates its 60th birthday this year – and now the classic Mini is getting an electric makeover that brings it speeding into the 21st century.
While BMW is planning to produce a fully electric modern Mini later this year, there’s not previously been a way to convert classic Minis to electric spec.
However the Swind E Classic Mini will combine a fully restored body and bespoke powertrain, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy Alec Issigonis’ original design, but in a zero-emissions vehicle.
Admittedly, all that tech comes at a price: only 100 of the Swind conversions will be created by Swindon Powertrain, and each one will cost £79,000.
Plus, with the option to spend thousands more on extras include infotainment systems, power steering, central locking, opening rear windows and sliding roof, that figure could easily creep up closer to the £90k mark.
The Swind E Classic Mini is based around a lithium-ion battery which will produce 24kWh of energy and an electric motor that’ll pump out 80kw – the equivalent of 110bhp.
It’ll have a range of 125 miles and will feature a regenerative braking system, while a full charge will take four hours. A top speed of 80mph is roughly the same as that enjoyed by most classic Minis, but its 0-60mph figure of 9.2 secs is considerably more punchy than classic Mini drivers will be used to.
With the petrol tank no longer required, boot space is also increased – you’ll now get 200 litres – and even without paying extra there are several modern upgrades inside, including USB charging ports, underfloor heating and heated leather seats.
Although it weighs 80kg more than a standard classic Mini, the dimensions are unchanged and it apparently boasts improved weight distribution over the the original.
The Wiltshire-based firm has already completed more than 10,000 miles in a prototype vehicle, and is now taking orders for the 100 conversions.
“This is the first time an electrified classic Mini has entered production,” says Swindon Powertrain’s managing director Raphael Caillé.
“The packaging of Sir Alec Issigonis’ 1959 design was truly groundbreaking and now we are making it relevant again. Its compact size and good visibility, together with contemporary performance and handling, make it a car you’ll want to drive in the city and put a smile on your face.”