An electrified version of the original Mini has been revealed at the New York motor show to emphasise the brand’s electric ambitions.
Based on a late version of the first Mini that has been completely restored, the car’s original four-cylinder engine has been swapped for a pure electric powerplant that uses 30 lithium-iron phosphate batteries to enable a range of 65 miles. Top speed is 75mph. Mini said the finished car mixes “the brand’s unmistakable character whilst embracing zero local emission technology”.
That the New York show car comes one year before Mini launches its first series production electric model, which will be based on the three-door car, is no coincidence. As Mini engineers are working to move the car towards production, the brand’s marketing department is working to increase awareness of Mini’s upcoming model.
The Classic Mini Electric, which is a one-off, is therefore produced to show how the original city car recipe can be adapted to feature the very latest in drive technology. Mini boss Sebastian Mackensen recently told Autocar that this tactic takes the brand back to its core values – making next year’s production car launch “pivotal” to its future.
“We always joke and say if Issigonis was to invent the Mini today, it would definitely be an electric car,” said Mackensen. “It is the answer to current challenges, as the original Mini was in 1959.”
The Mini Electric, first previewed by the Mini Electric concept of 2017, has been spotted on numerous occasions in public, including a recent stint of cold weather testing in a mule based on the pre-facelift three-door.