Home » If You’ve Been Wanting To Spend Over $150K On A Fancy Electric Original Mini Boy Do I Have Good News For You

If You’ve Been Wanting To Spend Over $150K On A Fancy Electric Original Mini Boy Do I Have Good News For You

Mine Top
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I love the idea of taking old iconic cars and updating them with modern EV drivetrains, Gattica-style, so that they may live on well into the forthcoming Electric Era. There’s a number of companies out there doing just that, and if these companies have one thing in common, it’s that what they end up making is never cheap. Converted air-cooled Volkswagens tend to go for around $85 to $100,000 or more, for example. Converting a combustion car to an EV is kind of an involved process, and components like batteries are pricey, which means that to make money, the only way to do it is to make your conversions fancy-trousers premium things, which you can then demand a lot of money for. That’s the approach taken by David Brown Automotive, which just announced their Mini eMastered, a really luxuriously finished and appointed Mini with an electric drivetrain and a range of about 110 miles that costs over $150,000. It’s terribly cool, but I really look forward to the day when EV-converted classics don’t demand six-digit prices. I mean, I can sit on vinyl. My ass doesn’t need hand-stitched vegan mushroom leather!

The name, eMastered, is a derivation of Mini Remastered, which is the line of extremely expensive and high-end original combustion-engined Mini restomods that the company has been selling for a number of years. The eMastered leverages all of the work the company has done to modernize and enfancify old Minis, including dashboards that incorporate a center-stack touchscreen, integrated A/C units, jewelry-like knobs and other switchgear, and lots of leather trim and seats and all that stuff.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Really, it all looks pretty fantastic, as you can see in the nearly reverential cinematography of their promo video, captioned by us.

I mean, I can think of far worse ways to spend $150,000 than on a really charming electric city car like this. Specs-wise, I think a lot of smart decisions were made; the weight of it all is only about 1,400 pounds, an absolute featherweight by EV standards, in large part thanks to the quite small 18.8 kWh battery pack. Just for comparison, the smallest pack you can get on a Nissan Leaf is 40 kWh (but an old BMW i3 came with a 22kWh pack). The small pack I think makes sense, because this is mostly going to be used as a city car. Even with that small pack 110 miles of range are possible, and given the context this car is designed to be used in, why haul around a crapton of battery you just don’t need? It’s a sensible approach.

Mine 2

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Another nice thing about a smaller battery is that it only takes about 3 hours to fully charge at 6.6 kW AC charging. That’s about a quarter of what most mainstream EVs take on a home charger.

That sensibly-sized battery is pumping electrons through a 96 horsepower Zonic 70 electric motor (for comparison, a 1968 Mini was making around 58 hp) which is good enough to get this little gem from zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, which should be plenty, and it’ll eventually hit 92 mph if you keep that pedal down, whizzing off into the stylish sunset.

Mine 3

Design-wise, this thing looks pretty much like a very nicely-sorted original Mini, just with a different grille mesh and some modern projector headlamps, the one element of the design that I don’t think really works. You see this on a lot of resto-mods, and I think we’ve given these sorts of headlights a fair chance and we can just call it. Isn’t there some way to make modern LED lights with fluted lenses? Or do they all have to look like this kind of Amazon aftermarket crap? I’m asking!

Mine 4

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These interiors are pretty great, and the attention to detail you can have when dealing with a small car is very evident here. Just look at that leather-slathered trunk there, with the stainless steel runners. I bet it smells fantastic in there. I want to put my whole head inside that trunk and just breathe.

The taillights I’m not too crazy about, though. I mean, they’re not bad, and I don’t mind the three-round-lamp look, but on a car this fancy, I’d like to see something more than three off-the-shelf lights set into a custom housing.

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Those knobs look satisfying to hold and turn, although I think those lower two probably could use some kind of label. And, with all those nice knobs, it’s kind of a letdown that an important control like the volume control is that fussy little rocker button on that Pioneer head unit instead of another nice chunky knob. I mean, which are you using more, volume control or… what is that, the rear window defroster? Come on, for $150K, David Brown can figure something out.

Mine 6

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There’s no question this is a lovely thing, and very appealing. But, like so many other lovely things in the automotive world today, I can’t help but think the high cost just makes it kind of irrelevant. It’s a lovely toy, but until there’s a good means for EV converting old cars for, say, half this price or less, then what’s the point?

Minie 1

Maybe I’m getting jaded. Conceptually, this gets a lot right: smart battery size for the job, great look, great use case for an EV. There just should be versions of this for non-rich people.

 

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Maymar
Maymar
5 months ago

Late to this, but is this the first sign that Electric Avenue is going to be to the EV industry what Born In The USA is to political campaigns?

Myk El
Myk El
5 months ago

I would love this as a runabout. But definitely not in my price range.

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