When you manufacture the best-selling electric vehicle in the world, you can stretch out a bit and do some variations. That’s what General Motors’ SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture is doing with the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. It’s going to make a limited run of Mini EV Cabrio two-seater models to generate some more hype for the Wuling brand. A Cabrio concept made its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show last year.
Last year Wuling sold 426,000 Mini EVs. Tesla sold 321,000 in China. Some of the Mini Ev’s charm is its design, size, and practicality. But one big plus is the sedan’s price. At $4,760, it’s a bargain.
To keep things rolling at this fast pace, it has introduced some special editions for its sedan that include the Mini EV Macaron and Mini EV Gameboy. But the Cabrio is the most ambitious special edition yet. Wuling says it will only produce between 100 and 200 examples a month, with the conversion from a sedan requiring some hand assembly.
Besides the obvious modifications for the convertible top, The bumpers have been redesigned with silver trim. The round fog lights are also different from the bread-and-butter Mini EV. The windshield A-pillars are reinforced, and the wheels are unique.
The interior features exclusive touches like the padded dashboard, unique steering wheel, and newly-designed seats, and comes in a two-tone design. Convertible tops come in either black or dark red. The drivetrain has also been tweaked with 40 hp with a 26 kWh lithium-ion battery. The range is pegged at 186 miles.
Buyers have been embracing the aftermarket and customizing their Mini EVs. So this is a way for the company to capitalize on the growing interest in personalization. But the cost of that personalization is plenty. Estimates are the Mini EV Cabrio will cost between $15,000 and $30,000. You can choose between three body colors, Emerald, Modern Black, or Sky Blue.
But Wuling expects there to be a run on the convertible. It is starting a lottery for the first run. If it proves to be as popular as it anticipates, the company may increase production beyond 200 Cabrios. The winners will find out later this month.