19/04/2024 3:37 AM

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Exceptional automotive

Mini Launches Factory EV Conversion Program for Classics

Classic cars will always be the best candidates for EV drivetrain swaps. Their lack of complexity and (usually) lightweight bodies mean they’re best-suited for electric power, especially when their traditional combustion engines become too difficult or expensive to maintain. Mini knows this, which is why it’s announced a new program where classic Mini owners can have their cars shipped back to the factory to have their cars converted to electric power.

The Mini Recharged project traces its roots back to 2018 when the company showed off a classic EV-swapped Mini at the New York Auto Show. The car proved so popular that Mini got to work forming a program where customers could send their cars to the factory to have the conversion done.

As a part of the process, the factory inline-four is swapped out for a 90 kW electric motor that’s capable of accelerating the car to 62 mph in roughly nine seconds. The battery can be charged with an output of 6.6 kW and has a predicted range of around 99 miles. The central instrument cluster is swapped out for a new unit that displays drive temperature, selected gear, range, and speed.

For those worried the conversion might ruin their classic Mini’s originality, don’t be. Only reversible changes are made to the car during the conversion. Each original engine removed will be marked and stored in the event the owner wants it back in the car. So if the owner wants to convert their car back to stock, all they have to do is send it back to Mini.

The downside, at least for American Mini owners, is that the conversions are only being done in the United Kingdom, for now. That means having to go through the trouble of shipping their prized possessions overseas. And while Mini doesn’t say how much the swap costs, factory conversions like this one are never cheap.

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