By fitting an electric powertrain into an original Mini, David Brown Automotive's Mini eMastered takes a 1960s classic into the future
Power comes from an 18.8-kWh battery pack with a 97-hp electric motor. Most importantly, this Mini restomod remains a featherweight
The cost is considerable, but a host of customization options make this little car special.
Situated just a scone's throw from the Silverstone racing curcuit, Northampton-based David Brown Automotive (DBA) is a specialist at coaxing out the best of 1960s Britain. Previous creations include the thoroughly modernized yet coachbuilt Aston Martin DB5–inspired Speedback GT and a variety of restomodded original Minis. The latest new model is called the Mini eMastered, and it brings the classic pint-sized urban terrier into the battery-electric era.
The eMastered is fitted with an 18.8 kWh battery which is paired with an electric motor producing 97 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The torque's a hefty dollop of grunt for a car this small, but the power rating isn't far off what a decent tuner can get out of the 1275 cc combustion engine you got in later Cooper models. The real headline here is the 1410-pound curb weight, which is basically identical to the original.
Keeping the battery pack small does limit the range to a still useful 110 miles, but what a cracking little London runabout this thing would be. It'd slip through the city's Ultra Low Emssions Zone (ULEZ), scampering around corners and fitting into narrow parking bays. DBA claims a 60 mph time of under 8.5 seconds, but with that electric torque, this Mini could really scorch around the financial district on a Sunday morning. Then, pop down to your local pub while the eMastered recharges, which takes about three hours on a 6.6kW AC charger.
With endless options for customization to create a truly bespoke EV restomod Mini experience, the eMastered really does seem like a Cockney-accented delight. There is, however, the matter of the the cash required to buy it. The eMastered is sized like Piglet but priced like a Heffalump. At $155,000, converted from U.K. currency, you might need to pull your own gold bullion heist before ordering one.
Still, as a thoroughly future-proofed and impeccably built version of one of the most charismatic cars ever made, the eMastered is charming. Sure, you could spend the same amount and get some 4000-pound EV crossover with more power, range, and performance. But with a proper Mini, less is more.
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