Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Santa Baby, a Mini-E Rocketman for Christmas.

I loved the 2.5 years I spent with “my” BMW Mini-E.  It’s hard to describe exactly why, but being powered by sunshine, the go cart handling,  the electric torque trying to rip the steering wheel out of my hands,  the incredible fun factor of the car is like nothing else I have ever experienced in a car before or after the Mini-E.   The car was rudimentary by today’s EV standards and closer to a prototype race car than a normal car for the streets.  The car demanded your full attention when driving as it had tremendous torque steer and a heavy rear end, but rewarded you with an incredible driving experience.  Practical it was not with no rear seats and very limited cargo space.  But damn it was so fun to drive, I really miss Mini-E #183.  

No doubt, the BMW ActiveE, which my co-pilot in life Julie has driven the past two years, is a much better car, civilized in its manners, improved in every way, seating four, and oozing the luxuriousness and comfort of a BMW.  No doubt the BMW i3 will be a wonderful and practical addition to our home, we are very excited about getting at least one, perhaps two of these great cars. I’ve driven the i3 and it’s faster than the Mini-E and fun to drive for sure.  As a two EV household, we will most likely be getting the rex version with our other car remaining a pure electric. 

But this is my Christmas wish, and I’ve been a feeling a little naughty in a dream car sort of way.  So I hope you’re listening Santa baby.  You’ve shown me what you can do with the BMW i3, so here’s my Christmas wish.

All I want for Christmas is a two seat Mini-E Rocketman Roadster. 
(Enter singing angels on high) 

Start with a sub 2000lbs vehicle weight by using the CFRP and aluminum construction similar to the i3. You only need to bleed 700lbs off it's gas and steel cousin.  Add the same 170-hp, 184-lb.-ft. motor with  performance optimized remapping and the 22kw battery from the i3. The seats and every component of the car optimized for lightness.  I really don’t care if the windows roll up or down, make the roadster top as light, but functional as possible.  More raw exposed CFRP and less plastic cladding on the outside. Raw and light, less parts, rules the day.

The result?

I’m wishing for a  sub 6 second,  road hugging "Monster of a Mini."  With the top up, a range of 100-120 miles (think lightness) and with the top down, a range of 75-90 miles (think awful aero.)  

This Mini-E Rocketman Roadster would be the perfect California stable mate for our BMW i3 rex, both powered by the endless goodness of sunshine.

Does it make sense? I don’t know.
Does it get my heart racing, absolutely.  
Sometimes,  passions of the heart are more important than sensible logic.

Santa build this car,  I've been really good this year.



80,000 sunshine powered miles
Mini-E, ActiveE, Honda Fit EV.

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