MINI just announced that it plans to offer an official program for its customers, focused on electrifying its classic, original model, to modern-day spec. Dubbed MINI Recharged, this program will take classic Minis to a whole new level, bringing them into the 21st century in more than one way.
If you look closely at what’s happening in the automotive sector right now, it’s hard to miss the fact that retrofitting classic models with electrified powertrains is becoming a trend. Most options on the table at this moment come from independent vendors but car makers are not oblivious to what’s happening around them.
In the case of MINI, this will be a continuation of an experiment unveiled in 2019 at the New York Auto Show. Back then, before the Cooper SE model was launched, the British car maker created an electric, classic Mini that had such a huge positive reaction, it made officials think about offering it on a permanent basis. That’s now officially happening with the Recharged project.
Basically, the cars have their internal combustion engines removed and replaced by a modern electric powertrain. According to the British car maker, the changes made to the car are reversible and in such a way that they keep the substance of the vehicle intact. This makes it possible to restore the classic car to its original condition at a later date. During the conversion, the original engine of each vehicle is marked and stored so it can be reused in the event of a future retrofit.
“What the project team are developing preserves the character of the classic Mini and enables its fans to enjoy all-electric performance. With MINI Recharged, we are connecting the past with the future of the brand,” says Bernd Körber, Head of the MINI Brand.
The new setup includes a modern electric motor that generates a continuous output of up to 90 kW (121 HP) and accelerates the electrified classic from zero to 62 mph in approximately nine seconds. The energy is supplied by a high-voltage battery, which can be charged with an output of up to 6.6 kW and enables a predicted range of around 100 miles. In addition, every electrified classic Mini receives the characteristic central instrument cluster, familiar since the early days of the original, which now displays the drive temperature, the selected gear, range and speed.
These upgrades will be done exclusively at MINI’s plant in Oxford, UK. Each converted vehicle is given an individual number, making it unique. “Individuality also plays an important role with MINI Recharged,” says Sebastian Beuchel, Head of MINI Global Brand Management. “Unique classic Mini models have always been created, including true works of art on wheels. That’s why future collaborations are also planned as part of the MINI Recharged program, allowing well-known artists to express their creativity with specially designed classic Mini models.”