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Another Western automotive icon has fallen prey to China’s notoriously inventive electric car companies. After the Chevrolet Corvette and the Volkswagen Beetle it is now the classic Mini, a British city car produced by BMC and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The new Chinese EV version is a pretty good clone, with all sorts of trendy retro bits. The proportions seem spot on, and it has classy chromed bumpers, mirrors, and windshield wipers.
Even the antenna has some old-school vibe to it, and the alloy wheels look like they time-traveled from the 1960’s to today. But there are some differences too, most notably the battery pack under the floor of the vehicle. The body is a bit more smooth and streamlined than the original, especially at the front. Electrifying the Mini as a 2022 city car seems such a great idea. One may wonder why current owner BMW didn’t think of this themselves. Well, they kind of did. Soon, production of an electric Mini for the Chinese car market is set to start at the new GWM-Mini joint venture. But that is a much bigger car, a Mini in name only. Interestingly, GWM is also the owner of the ORA brand, which produces the cloned Beetles.