The classic Mini is an icon, not least because it was the star of famous heist movie The Italian Job. But it was never what anyone would call rapid. Well it turns out you can fix that problem with a little help from a Tesla motor; if only they knew how to do that back in the day.
Thankfully, it's something the owner (opens in new tab) of a rather lovely blue Mini does know how to do. This allowed them to take the family car, which they’d previously learned to drive in, and turn it into a tire-shredding monster. Instant power and torque in a car weighing just over 1,500lbs? Yes please!
But just how much power are we talking about? The original car packed in an 850cc engine, which could muster less than 40 bhp back in 1967. But the addition of Tesla’s electric motor and batteries give that a healthy bump to 300 bhp.
Or maybe it's unhealthy, depending on your love of getting around corners in one piece.
Putting batteries into cars that weren't designed for them can be problematic, though. Batteries aren't light and even when you strip out the old engine you can end up making the car heavier than it was to begin with.
Thankfully the small Mini doesn't need a huge amount of battery power to get moving — just 33 kWh. That allows for fewer batteries and less overall weight. The car did get heavier, but only by 88lb. Given those 300 horses we just mentioned, that's a trade-off many would be willing to make.
And the result? It's fast, although perhaps not quite as fast as you'd hope. The Tesla-powered Mini clocked in 0-60 times of around 6 seconds. That isn’t particularly slow, and is the same as the official electric Mini SE, but it still feels underwhelming somehow. The combination of miniature 10-inch wheels and cold tires probably didn't help.
Beyond raw speed, the overall fit and finish of the re-built Mini looks exceptional, and you can get glimpses of that in the video shared by Petrol PED (opens in new tab) over on YouTube. The charging port is even hidden in the old fuel filler cap. They really did think of everything.
But be warned, watching the video may cause you to spend the next few days recoiling at the price of classic Minis online.