This Tiny Chinese-Made EV Provides Buyers With Affordable Open-Top Fun

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio 7 photos
Photo: Wheelsboy on YouTube | Edited
Wuling Hongguang Mini EV CabrioWuling Hongguang Mini EV CabrioWuling Hongguang Mini EV CabrioWuling Hongguang Mini EV CabrioWuling Hongguang Mini EV CabrioWuling Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio
Preparing for winter in the middle of the summer is something that wise people do. But that doesn't mean you're not part of this exclusive group if you prepare for summer in the middle of winter. If you would like to do some zero-emission motoring in 2024, it's a good idea to start looking for rides right now. Here's an idea: the Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio. But there's a catch.
Stateside, the most affordable new cabriolet you can buy is the Mazda MX-5. Price-wise, it's followed by the Mini Convertible, the Chevy Camaro, and the Ford Mustang. But let's take a look at what's available to other people around the world.

China is at the forefront of all-electric vehicle manufacturing. The Asian country isn't messing around. It has six of the world's top high-voltage battery makers, and EV sales almost doubled in 2022.
If we are to believe the numbers coming from China, 22% of all the new cars sold there last year were all-electric. That may not sound too impressive initially, but it translates into almost 6 million zero-emission cars reaching buyers. That's not all – 81% of all these new EVs were sold by homegrown brands and not foreign automakers.

However, take these figures with a pinch of salt. China tends to include plug-in hybrids into a mix it calls "new energy vehicles." As you may already know, plug-in hybrids have a motor and a small battery, but they also hide an internal combustion engine under the hood. But nobody can deny that China is making tremendous progress. The country even has an all-electric coupe that's rather cool.

Left alone, China might have quickly become a global automotive leader. Fortunately for the American auto industry, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Chips and Science Act curbed that boom for now.

But that's not stopping the Asian nation from innovating and experimenting. The popular Hongguang Mini EV now comes in cabrio form. Keep in mind that before having its roof chopped off and replaced with a power top, this was a $9,400 two-door car. Well, a quadricycle would be the correct term.

Similar vehicles are now becoming popular in Europe, where Stellantis has launched the Citroen Ami and the Fiat Topolino.

Convertibles aren't practical vehicles or cheap to maintain properly. Moreover, you don't buy one because it will make commuting easier. Despite most of them carrying a hefty price tag, these vehicles have a unique, maybe even a little bit of surreal appeal. It's that promise of enthusiasm and joy that makes acquiring one such an exciting proposition. But you also feel a bit guilty for even thinking about spending hard-earned money on something that's not a crossover or a pickup truck.

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio
Photo: Wheelsboy on YouTube
Wuling's Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio can send those pesky thoughts away because it has a great starting price – just $14,000.

The only issue is that Americans, Australians, Indians, or the British cannot import one. You might find that a tad bit more upsetting when you realize that General Motors is in a partnership with Wuling and SAIC. But such is life. Maybe it's for the better. America doesn't appear ready for such a small and affordable EV.

But this cute all-electric convertible has a wheelbase of 79.1 inches, rides on 12-inch wheels, and doesn't come with a trunk lid, a capable A/C system, or an onboard DC fast charger.

It uses a 26.5-kWh high-voltage battery that enables an official range of 174 miles. As you might expect, the power output isn't great. It only makes 40 hp and 81 lb-ft of torque thanks to a tiny motor mounted on the rear axle. It helps the little car achieve a top speed of 62 mph. That means it doesn't really need advanced driver-assistance systems.

All in all, this EV is good for only one thing – having tons of urban or suburban fun when the weather is kind enough toward us. Otherwise, the Chinese quadricycle isn't good for anything. But, hey, it costs $14,000. There are bicycles on sale today that are more expensive than this cute thing.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories