Tesla-Powered Vintage Mini Cooper Throws Down With 300 HP
It’s an exciting conversion that begins with a beautifully restored vintage Mini.
These days, if you want an electric Mini all you need to do is visit a dealership and buy one. However, if you want the benefits of electric drive and the proper looks of a classic Mini Cooper, you might want to consider a new offering from Gildred Racing.
As covered by CarScoops, the Super Cooper EV is a build that blends the best of old and new. It eschews the small, underpowered, and oftentimes temperamental mid-century Austin engines, replacing them with a modern Tesla drivetrain instead. Built with a motor from the Model S or X, this pocket rocket offers a whopping 300 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. To put that into perspective, that’s nearly ten times as much compared to the 34 hp the Mini offered in 1959.
The EV conversion is able to cover a healthy 150 miles on a single charge thanks to a 31-kWh battery pack. That’s enough to navigate city streets and even head out on a short Sunday drive in the countryside. It's admittedly underwhelming compared to modern EVs, but it's pretty typical for a classic car conversion of this type. It's all the more impressive given the Mini's size, which doesn't leave much room for batteries.
It's often argued that modernizing classics erodes their charm, but Gildred Racing has approached this conversion with the appropriate reverence. Every Super Cooper EV starts its journey as a classic Mini Cooper that's lovingly restored. That's demonstrated by the first example built—a stunning 1971 Leyland Mini that looks resplendent in its Riviera Blue paint.
Inside, it's all about vintage feel. In this example, the pale houndstooth upholstery is gorgeous and pairs perfectly with the classic dashboard and instruments. Gildred Racing isn't shying away from offering modern luxuries, either, with the company planning to soon offer air conditioning on future builds for comfort and livability.
Nathan Hoagland, mechanic and fabricator at Gildred Racing, sums it up perfectly, “It looks and feels like a classic Mini, except with a whole lot more power, better drivability, and a much quieter experience for everyone inside the vehicle.”
If you want a Super Cooper EV of your very own, Gildred Racing will sell you the first example for $120,000, ready to drive on U.S. streets. Alternatively, you can get your own built from the ground up with a fully restored donor car for around $130,000, according to the company's website. This means getting your choice of exterior color and interior design. The custom route requires patience, though, as the company has a year-long waitlist for new builds.
It's funny to think that this converted classic Mini has more horsepower and range than a brand-new electric Mini Cooper SE that you can buy today. Admittedly, though, it does come at over three times the cost. Regardless, the Super Cooper EV looks like an exquisite way to rock up to a classic car show in silent British style.
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