Originally published on Gas2.
The original Mini is a historic racing icon that, in skilled hands, could challenge the big-bore sports cars of its day and win. With its chunky looks and playful, cartoon-y proportions, the Mini soon became a style icon, as well- with Anglophile’s everywhere singing the car’s praises. With new regulations and increasing bans on automobiles in Europe’s urban population centers, however, the few remaining OG Minis have even fewer places they can be driven. That’s where Ian Motion comes in: meet the fully electric Austin Mini!
Ian Motion starts with an Austin-built Mini frame that is lovingly restored. Fresh paint and a thoughtfully updated interior play up the “what’s old is new again” vibe of the car, as well — but the big news is under the hood. Instead of a wheezy, carbon-spewing 4 cylinder, Ian Motion has fitted the tiny car with a modern electric powertrain that the company claims improves both emissions quality and performance.
Unlike Mini’s parent company, BMW (apparently), Ian Motion actually plans to bring the electric restomods to market towards the end of 2017, although prices and final production specs have yet to be announced. That said, the company’s initial marketing video is slickly produced, and the prototype itself- in pictures, at least- looks surprisingly good.
What do you guys think? Are electric conversions a smart way to keep classic iron relevant in tomorrow’s cities, or are we all doomed to be whisked around in one of Tesla’s grille-less, self-driving jellybeans? Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Reprinted with permission.