Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/5/20 1:57 p.m.
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Don’t get us wrong. We love the internal-combustion engine as much as the next person, but the electric motor does have a few unique advantages. All of its torque is available in an instant, for example, and it doesn’t require as many fluids that need frequent changes.

Then, consider that factors innate to repairing and maintaining a classic, like high costs and parts scarcity, can be sidestepped by swapping in an electric powertrain. And that means keeping aging classics on the road longer—which is what we all want in the end, right?

Perhaps it’s that line of thinking that has created the growing demand for purpose-built electric drivetrains for classic cars, especially for the original Mini.

To meet that demand, Swindon Powertrain offers a kit that allows customers to convert their classic Mini to a fully electric powertrain.

Said to be “suitable for all classic Minis” with no additional vehicle modification, the whole powertrain measures less than 18x16x9 inches and is based around the company’s HPD E 80-kW electric “crate motor” with roughly 100 lb.-ft. of torque.

The whole unit is mounted to an original Mini front subframe and is built to allow the use of standard driveshaft assemblies.

Customers looking for more performance have access to a slew of optional equipment, including a limited-slip differential, a cooling system pump, a DC-DC converter, and even a 12-kWh battery pack that fits in the same space the engine normally occupies.

It's not yet clear whether the kit will be made available here in the U.S.. Prices currently start at £10,620 (around $13,900) for the basic kit.

Read the full press release below:

Swindon Powertrain is now offering a stand-alone electric 80kW continuous (120 kW peak), Classic Mini Kit, which can be used in isolation or in addition to a range of aftermarket Swindon Powertrain EV components such as 12 kWhr battery pack, motor controller, onboard charger and DC-DC converter. Suitable for classic car enthusiasts, specialists or EV conversion businesses that want to electrify a classic Mini, order books are now open with prices for the Classic Mini Kit starting at £8,850 + VAT and deliveries commencing from December 2020.

Created in response to growing customer demand to electrify classic cars and original Minis in particular, Swindon Powertrain’s Classic Mini Kit has been designed to ensure that no vehicle modifications are required, the entire kit weighing just over 70 kg dry.

The Classic Mini Kit package comprises an HPD E Powertrain system mounted to an original classic Mini front subframe featuring brackets specifically designed for this installation. It also includes purpose designed inner CV joint housings that allow the fitment of standard Mini driveshaft assemblies and comes complete a standard differential (optional limited slip differential available).

Swindon Powertrain also offers a range of optional components including a purpose designed 12 kWhr battery pack, which fits under the original bonnet in place of the internal combustion engine, motor controller, onboard charger and DC-DC converter, speed sensor kit and cooling system pump, with orders books for these additional items also open.

“We’ve registered over 500 requests for more information on the HPD E system since it launched, many of which are classic Mini owners who are looking to convert their cars to run on electric power.” says Commercial Director Gérry Hughes. “We have tried to make our kits as easy to use as possible, re-engineering and re-designing the package so that it fits perfectly in a classic Mini, and offer our clients the ability to take just the HPD E Powertrain system or purchase extra, optional EV parts.”

Customers are invited to discuss the Classic Mini Kit directly with the Swindon Powertrain team or order via the webstore.

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