Ever since I drove a classic Mini electric conversion back in 2018, I’ve been mildly (okay, more than mildly) obsessed with the idea. The one I drove was an unusual EV as it had a manual gearbox, something that’s unheard of in electric vehicles. So when I learned that Eletrogenic was making a classic Mini EV with a manual, I became very excited. And when Carfection recently reviewed one, I couldn’t click fast enough.
Electrification suits modern MINIs incredibly well but, actually, it suits classic Minis even better. The old Minis are far smaller, simpler, better looking (sorry, BMW), and more fun to drive. Giving them electric powertrains only amplifies the fun by making them faster and more energetic. Even better is when you can give a classic Mini an electric powertrain and a manual gearbox, as Electrogenic does. In this new video from Carfection, Alex Goy gets to drive the Electrogenic Mini with a manual ‘box (a single-speed automatic is available) and it seems like an absolute blast.
The Electrogenic Mini in this video is quite slow but, then again, so is the standard Mini. I drove a gas-powered Mini Cooper S once, which took about 11 seconds to get to 60 mph, and it’s still one of my favorite drives. So you aren’t really losing anything with the electric version. Although, Electrogenic does offer a faster one.
Goy says the brakes in the Electrogeni Mini aren’t good but the same can also be said about a normal classic Mini. Fun story, I was riding shotgun in the classic Cooper S, with a prominent BMW journalist driving, and we had to make a full emergency stop due to some poor driving by other motorists during Monterey Car Week. Let’s just say a full emergency stop in a classic Mini without ABS results in a four-wheel lockup and a need for new pants.
The ride is also pretty rough but, again that’s how old Minis are. Their rubber suspension cones are genuinely awful over anything other than perfect surfaces. So that’s not a criticism of Electrogenics. The only real criticism is its price, around £35,000 for the conversion. However, if you can afford it, you likely won’t find a more fun city car for the money.