Automotive

Classic Mini Electric puts tomorrow's powertrain in yesterday's body shape

Classic Mini Electric puts tom...
All-electric powertrain, totally classic resto Cooper body. It's Mini's one-ff classic Mini Electric, preparing to debut at the New York auto show.
All-electric powertrain, totally classic resto Cooper body. It's Mini's one-ff classic Mini Electric, preparing to debut at the New York auto show.
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Classic Mini Electric concept: on the streets of NYC
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Classic Mini Electric concept: on the streets of NYC
Classic Mini Electric concept: old-school body shape, electric powertrain
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Classic Mini Electric concept: old-school body shape, electric powertrain
Classic Mini Electric concept: looks the goods, sounds like not much at all
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Classic Mini Electric concept: looks the goods, sounds like not much at all
Classic Mini Electric concept: tiny plug logos on the hubs
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Classic Mini Electric concept: tiny plug logos on the hubs
Classic Mini Electric concept: tiny plug logo on the hood
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Classic Mini Electric concept: tiny plug logo on the hood
Classic Mini Electric concept: charge point where the fuel cap would normally be
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Classic Mini Electric concept: charge point where the fuel cap would normally be
Classic Mini Electric concept: plugged in
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Classic Mini Electric concept: plugged in
Classic Mini Electric concept: a face many mothers could love
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Classic Mini Electric concept: a face many mothers could love
Classic Mini Electric concept: hitting the streets of New York
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Classic Mini Electric concept: hitting the streets of New York
Classic Mini Electric concept: more plug logos
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Classic Mini Electric concept: more plug logos
Classic Mini Electric concept: well if there isn't a plug logo right there
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Classic Mini Electric concept: well if there isn't a plug logo right there
Classic Mini Electric concept: a celebration of the classic Cooper shape
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Classic Mini Electric concept: a celebration of the classic Cooper shape
Classic Mini Electric concept: nice badonkadonk
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Classic Mini Electric concept: nice badonkadonk
Classic Mini Electric concept: on the move in the Big Apple
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Classic Mini Electric concept: on the move in the Big Apple
All-electric powertrain, totally classic resto Cooper body. It's Mini's one-ff classic Mini Electric, preparing to debut at the New York auto show.
15/16
All-electric powertrain, totally classic resto Cooper body. It's Mini's one-ff classic Mini Electric, preparing to debut at the New York auto show.
Classic Mini Electric concept: that old shape can still turn heads
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Classic Mini Electric concept: that old shape can still turn heads

A lot of electric cars go to great lengths to cast off traditional design ideas and announce themselves as something totally new and futuristic – take the BMW i3 for example. Mini plans to do things differently. Recognizing customers' fondness for the classic shape, the company is presenting a restored classic Mini Cooper kitted out with a completely electric drivetrain that looks just like it used to on the outside, but packs an electric punch underneath. It's called the classic Mini Electric.

Classic Mini Electric concept: hitting the streets of New York
Classic Mini Electric concept: hitting the streets of New York

There's no details in terms of range, power, battery location … In fact the whole thing looks exactly like a nicely restored Cooper were it not for a few strategically placed plug logos around the body and a charge point where the petrol cap would normally go.

Classic Mini Electric concept: a face many mothers could love
Classic Mini Electric concept: a face many mothers could love

Mini also says the electric version honors the go-kart style nailing and zippy driving experience of the original, although that's pretty academic, as nobody will ever get to drive it.

Still, it's a good reminder that the design of electrics is far less bounded by engine and drivetrain technology than the average combustion car – whether that means they're built to look like spaceships, or to emulate resonant designs of past eras. Anything's possible!

Source: Mini

7 comments
highlandboy
So BMW creates yet another distraction from Dieselgate without creating anything that serves any practical purpose.
BeinThayer
"...go-kart style nailing..." . Is that really a thing? Sounds fascinating. Do tell...
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. The reason the new Mini is bigger is because it needs to be safer with emission controls. Perhaps these could be neighborhood electric vehicles? Wasn't it VW that had diesel gate and not BMW?
Trylon
I'd buy one if the price was right. Or an electric Isetta, an E-setta as it were. Some student or designer created an eSetta concept a few years ago, but it didn't look right without the classic 3 or ultra-narrow rear track 4-wheel design.
yawood
I think it looks terrific. BMW are obviously garnering some publicity before the release of the Mini Electric in 2019. Yes Dieselgate was certainly VW. It seems that highlandboy doesn't like BMWs.
Nik
Actually, I think this car could be very popular, if they made enough to sell at a reasonable price. Problem is the mini body is old tech, and probably expensive to manufacture, but plastic versions of various mini body parts were produced as after market add-on's. So. surely the whole car could be produced now, especially with 3d printing being available, so that expensive tooling wouldn't be required?
yawood
@Nik. The problem is they could not make it today and meet the current crash standards etc. The new Mini meets those standards and looks "somewhat" like the original.