Swindon Powertrain unveiled a turn-key EV conversion kit that makes electrifying a Mini built between 1959 and 2000 relatively easy. It bridges the gap between the original model and the Cooper SE released earlier in 2020.
Available in December 2020, the kit consists of an electric motor mounted on a modified Mini front subframe, and purpose-designed inner CV joint housings designed to work with regular-production half shafts. Swindon notes no modifications are required; installing the kit requires removing the original front subframe, probably selling the stock engine and the transmission in the local classifieds, and bolting the new subframe to the Mini’s body.
Rated at 107 continuous horsepower, but programmed to offer a peak output of 160 horsepower, the motor spins the front wheels via a single-speed transmission, which seemingly settles the debate over magic wand, direct, and remote gear changes. It offers more power than any four-cylinder fitted to the Mini by the factory.
After tightening the subframe bolts, owners need to source additional powertrain components, like the battery pack, the motor controller, the on-board charger, and the DC-DC converter. All of these parts are available directly from Swindon Powertrains, or from a growing list of aftermarket vendors, but they’re not included in the kit.
Electric technology isn’t cheap, and Swindon’s kit is no exception. It’s priced at £8,850 (about $11,500) before taxes and shipping enter the equation, meaning it’s more expensive than rebuilding an original four-cylinder engine. Viewed in this light, electrification is better suited to some of the high-zoot custom builds (like the stunning Remastered available from David Brown Automotive) priced in the six digits than to a beater 1980s City model.