Judging by the way automakers are looking into the future, there will come a day when you won’t be able to buy a tank full of gasoline anymore. It’s not happening any time soon, but it probably will happen eventually. So what are we going to do with all of these classic cars still on the road? Wad them up and throw them in the trash, right? No, of course not.
I have to assume that programs like Mini’s Recharged will continue to gain popularity in the market. You see, Mini will take your hydrocarbon-burning classic and pull out all of the greasy bits, mark them and put them on a shelf for later, then replace all of them with electric motors and a rack of batteries. This program is focused on building these cars to be future-proofed, but at the same time totally reversible.
You may recall that Mini originally debuted this concept at the New York Auto Show in 2018, but that was ultimately just a one-off, or at least that’s what we thought. Since then the company has received a mess of positive feedback, and decided to turn it into a stand-alone project.
The Mini Recharged team works at the company’s Oxford plant, where it will fit a small 121 horsepower motor, good for around 9-seconds from 0-60, and enough batteries for around 100 miles of range. Because so little was changed from year to year, all models built from 1959 to 2000 are eligible. It might save you a few British Pounds if you find a car that already has a blown motor or at the very least a bad clutch, but shipping it overseas is going to negate at least some of that savings.
Perhaps the only major drawback of what is otherwise an incredibly useful city car, the Mini Recharged does not offer any kind of fast charging. The only charging option seems to be a standard L2 6.6 kW onboard charger.
Right now it looks like all of these swaps will be conducted in England, and pricing hasn’t been announced yet. Hopefully, if the demand is through the roof, the company will begin doing these retrofits here in the U.S. market as well. I would personally love to have my hands on one of these cute little buggers as a city runabout.
Okay, now that we made it all the way through that without a crass joke about British Leyland, let’s get them going in the comments. What will it be like to electric swap a car originally wired by Lucas?