Reborn classic Mini’s shocking changes
ONE of the world's most recognisable cars is back … sort of.
The reborn classic Mini is the brainchild of British auto engineers Swindon Powertrains.
Named the Swind E Classic Mini, the diminutive hatch features a restored classic Mini body and electric drive.
This is the first electric Mini to enter production, says Swindon Powertrain's chief Raphael Caille.
"There have been one-offs and prototypes before but Swind is the first company to launch such a car to the public. The classic Mini has such a special place in people's hearts, not only in the UK but around the world," says Caille.
"The packaging of Sir Alec Issigonis' 1959 design was truly groundbreaking and now we are making it relevant again. Its compact size and good visibility, together with contemporary performance and handling, makes it a car you'll want to drive in the city and put a smile on your face."
The 80kW electric motor draws current from a 24kWh lithium ion battery and the maker claims up to 200km range and top speed of 130km/h. The vehicle can be fully charged from empty in four hours.
Removing the petrol tank has the bonus of increasing the pint-sized Mini's boot space to 200L - only slightly less than in some current Corollas with 217L.
If a buyer doesn't reckon these changes bring the Mini up-to-date, there is a raft of options.
Owners can add airconditioning, electric power steering, central locking and, for a 21st-century touch, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and digital radio.
The Mini has brake and suspension upgrades to make it easier to live with and drive than the original version.
If this all sounds rather appealing, the price may just change your mind. The E Classic Mini is priced from 79,000 pounds ($143,000) before options. Swind will build only 100 examples.