Mini argues that if Sir Alec Issigonis, designer of the legendary small car, could create it again today, it would be electric.
Today, the company is getting ready to do exactly that, with the Mini Recharged project.
This will take existing classic Minis, remove their polluting petrol engine, and replace it with a pure electric drivetrain.
For posterity, the original engine of each Mini will be marked and stored, in case a future owner (for some strange reason) wishes to turn it back into a true petrol-powered original.
The rest of the conversion, masterminded by a team at Mini Plant Oxford, is fully reversible, too.
“Careful handling of the car’s historical heritage is an important part of the concept,” says Mini.
Mini boss Bernd Korber says the project “preserves the character of the classic Mini and enables its fans to enjoy all-electric performance.”
The front-wheel drive electric Mini Recharged will produce around 122hp, good for acceleration from 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds.
That’s certainly better than the original.
Mini isn’t quoting the capacity of the battery, but does say it will give a range of just under 100 miles.
It will drive in an authentically Mini way too, with the engineers promising it preserves the ‘go-kart’ character of the original.
Ingeniously, the Mini Recharged will even boast an updated version of the classic Mini central instrument cluster – which now shows speed, range, selected gear and drive temperature.
Mini insists no brand new cars will be produced through the Mini Recharged project Rather, each will be an ‘upcycled’ version of an existing Mini, “to begin a second, more sustainable life”.
They’ll be in good company: every fifth new Mini that rolls off the production line is electrified, a number that’s growing all the time.
Mini isn’t yet ready to reveal prices for the Mini Recharged project, but says it will be carried out exclusively in the UK, and each conversion will carry an individual serial number.
Stay tuned to hear more about how Mini Recharged will electrify Sir Alec Issigonis’ masterpiece…