MINI Goes Old School With A One-Off Electric Classic Cooper

MINI is preparing to launch an electric vehicle in 2019 and the company is trying to build excitement for the model by unveiling an electric version of the classic three-door hatchback in New York.

Featuring “groundbreaking drive technology for tomorrow’s urban mobility,” the one-off model is based on a carefully restored Cooper that has a red exterior with a contrasting white roof. Designers also installed hood stripes and an assortment of yellow MINI Electric badges on the hood, wheel caps and trunk.

MINI declined to release technical specifications but the automaker confirmed the car is powered by a single electric motor. The company went on to say it provides a “new dimension to the unmistakable go-kart feeling that helped propel the British small car, in its original form, to worldwide popularity.”

It’s basically a cheeky teaser for MINI’s electric future

While MINI was tight-lipped about the retro EV, the company didn’t waste any time talking about the upcoming model. It will be based on the three-door hatchback and was recently previewed by the MINI Electric Concept which debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. MINI says the upcoming model will be packed with “charisma, individual style and driving fun.”

The car will be unveiled in 2019 as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the classic model. The car is currently under development but it will go into production next year at the company’s Oxford plant in the United Kingdom.

While the concept had thoroughly revised bodywork, spy photos have shown the production model will remain pretty faithful to the standard hatchback. However, the car will be equipped with a unique grille that will likely echo the concept.

MINI’s head of design has suggested the electric vehicle will be a “genuine MINI” and benefit from the use 3D printing. Oliver Heilmer went on to say the car will have plenty of “unconventional and innovative details” that hint at its eco-friendly powertrain.

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  • The black trim make the car looks like cheap restoration in my opinion.

    Also, no photos of interior or the drivetrain?

    • LeStori

      Mine was red and white with a grey interior. The seats were poor and the fun enormous. Doing a 100 mph/160 kph in something this small was exhilerating.

  • LeStori

    Unfortunately cars like the real Mini are not really viable any more due to safely laws. Good thing as well. However this is an iconic car unlike the BMW Bloaty that is now called the Mini.

    • Mark Hawthorne

      But surely you’re contradicting yourself to some degree? Yes, the MINI could be smaller but not by all that much to meet current occupant and pedestrian legislation which has made every new small car larger. The smallest 4 seat car available is, I think, the Toyota Aygo and it’s less than a foot shorter and less than a foot narrower than a MINI (and the width makes it very uncomfortable to drive as you’re virtually rubbing shoulders with the passenger – I had one as a rental car). Coupled with the fact the no one will pay a premium for the smallest cars (the MINI is twice the price and probably three times the profitability of the Aygo) it’s no surprise that the MINI is the size it is.

      The R53 was smaller but only 7 inches shorter and 8 inches narrower than the current F56 – it was visually curvier (which is part of the issue) and the other larger models do suggest every MINI is huge but it’s really not all that much bigger – it just looks it.

  • Bikram Suwal

    Mine was red and white with a grey interior. The seats were poor and the fun enormous. Doing a 100 mph/160 kph in something this small was exhilerating.

  • Vanishing Boy

    Yawn. It doesn’t fit the character PLUS golf cart range. I’d rather have the MiniTec VTEC.

  • Joe Langan

    Pedant alert; the original Mini wasn’t a hatchback as the rear window didn’t open with the boot/trunk lid, which is the normal definition of a hatchback.

    Not sure what it is though; the European convention is to refer to the boot/trunk of anything with a hatch (including estates/wagons) as a door, so what Americans would call a 4dr Toyota Yaris hatch, we’d call a 5dr and given the odd number, you wouldn’t need to call it a hatchback as that was already implied by the number. Whereas the original Mini was always referred to as a 2dr here because it didn’t have a hatch – although I wouldn’t call it a sedan/saloon either. I suppose it’s just a Mini, it’s unique.

    Fun fact; the only car to contradict the European hatch/door naming thing was the Hyundai Veloster, which had a hatch but 3 doors – meaning Americans would call it a 3-door hatchback/coupe and Europeans would call it a 4-door hatchback/coupe.

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