Classic Mini goes all-electric thanks to renowned British resto-modders

David Brown Automotive reveals its first battery-powered Mr Bean car

David Brown Automotive Mini eMastered
(Image credit: David Brown Automotive)

Anyone with a soft spot for the original Mini will have likely heard of David Brown Automotive - the British marque that takes Sir Alec Issigonis’ iconic car and revamps it for a modern audience.

Over 1,000 man hours goes into every Mini Remastered and the final result comes strengthened, sound-proofed and packing today’s in-car tech. That allows owners to get the achingly cool retro looks without the old-school issues of rust and frequent breakdowns.

Now, David Brown has lifted the lid on its all-electric model with the snappily-titled Mini eMastered.

The company’s first fully-electric model still rocks those gloriously retro lines, complete with a level of personalisation seen only in the world of luxury cars, but now comes with 18.8kWh battery packs crammed under the bonnet (or hood, to our American cousins) and a spicy 72kW (97hp) electric motor driving the front wheels.

David Brown Automotive Mini eMastered

(Image credit: David Brown Automotive)

Although it might not sound like a lot, the car only weighs 640kg (eat that, three-tonne electric SUVs), so the 175Nm of torque can propel Mr Bean’s runaround from 0-60mph in just 8.5 seconds. It will then go on to a top speed of 92mph when placed in "sports mode".

Yes, there are much faster EVs out there, but David Brown Automotive has been careful not to ruin the peppy drive of the original. Designed to be a useable city car, it features a WLTP certified range of 110 miles, while 6.6kW AC charging sees top-ups take around three hours from a typical home wall box charging point.

This is probably not something you want to road-trip in, but the real boon for clients is the level of bespoke finish that can be fitted, with a huge list of options (ranging from paint to the interior fabrics) on-hand so very few DBA Minis look alike.

David Brown Automotive Mini eMastered

(Image credit: David Brown Automotive)

All drivers benefit from a thorough modernisation of the cabin, though. This includes integrated infotainment boasting the latest generation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - albeit via a Pioneer head unit that's likely available through most Halfords stores.

So what’s the catch? Well, there’s the price, for a start. DBA is commanding at least £150,000 for the eMastered treatment, and you’ll have to provide your own donor car so its craftspeople can get to work transforming it.

"There is an inherent challenge in electrifying such an iconic model, to retain the high levels of reliability, performance, and quality that our customers expect," explained Michelle Gay, sales and marketing director at David Brown Automotive, clearly trying to justify the loft price tag.

"Mini eMastered is a shape that captures hearts and minds, and it is the embodiment of our passion, vision, and commitment to sustainable luxury today and into the future."

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.