Now, I get it… chopping up classic cars to create electric versions of the same smacks of sacrilege. But in the case of this classically correct Rover Mini, adding electrons adds nothing but upside.
Under the steady hands and watchful eye of Fellten Australia, a 1995-spec Rover Mini has given up its wheezy 1.3-litre four-potter and its 46kW for a much more potent 72kW Zonic electric motor and single-speed gearbox, mounted under the bonnet via a special BMH front subframe.
Providing the electrons is a compact 19kWh battery that’s fed by a Type 2 charging port. The diminutive battery does restrict the Mini’s range – just 175km under WLTP rules – but it’s much easier to package within the 28-year-old car’s small footprint, and ensures that both the overall weight and the weight distribution of the original car are unchanged.
The Fellten-fettled front-driver also scores two-stage regenerative braking, as well as City and Sport driving modes.
Not only will the conversion give the old Mini an emissions-free future, it’s handily quicker, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of eight seconds. That’s a solid 4.5 seconds quicker than stock.
Fellten’s Chief Product Officer, Dave Budge, pointed to the popularity of the EV movement in Australia as a perfect lead-in to conversations around converting classics to electric propulsion.
“Never has the topic of electromobility been so relevant, particularly in Australia where EV adoption rates are still in its infancy and there is an opportunity to shape the mindset toward considering sustainable transport,” he said.
“We are excited to be working with MINI Australia on converting this classic collectible which takes something we all know and love and transforming it into a catalyst for conversations surrounding sustainable mobility solutions.”
The 1995 Mini Rover conversion project follows on from the MINI Recharged program, which kicked off with a one-off classic Mini Electric for the New York Auto Show last year.
The positive reactions to that particular project have led to the creation of a team at Mini’s Plant Oxford to look into a program to cater to classic Mini customers.
General Manager of MINI Australia, Matt Schmidt, was particularly keen to see this project come to fruition.
Our iconic heritage is intrinsic to the character of the MINI brand, and this will continue to inspire and influence our direction even as we transition to offer a fully electric line-up by the beginning of 2030,” Mr Schmidt said.
“We are proud to work with Fellten on a project that seamlessly preserves the beloved elements of our past while pointing towards our exciting, all-electric future.”