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New Mini Formula E Safety Car previews future electric JCW models

30th Mar 2021 4:55 pm

Mini says the new Formula E Safety Car hints at one of the directions the brand could take with the electrification of JCW models.

Mini has revealed the one-off Electric Pacesetter, which will serve as the official Formula E Safety Car, at select rounds this season, alongside the BMW i Roadster. The brand says the model connects its “electrified future with the rich racing history of John Cooper Works (JCW)”.

Giving clues as to the model’s potential to influence future production cars, Mini boss Bernd Körber said the car shows that “the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit”.

  • Mini Electric Pacesetter is based on the Mini Cooper SE
  • Weighs 130Kg less
  • Exterior features signature JCW elements

Mini Electric Pacesetter

The influence of the Mini JCW GP is clear - prominent air scoops at the side, a sizeable rear wing and an aerodynamic-enhancing front splitter point to its performance focus, while the road car’s 18-inch sports alloy wheels have been carried over and finished in a unique two-tone livery. 

The drivetrain is carried over from the Mini Cooper SE. So the Pacesetter makes 184hp and 270Nm, but “rigorous” weight cutting measures have resulted in a tangible performance boost, cutting the 0-100kph sprint time by 0.6sec to 6.7sec. 

Weight has been shed chiefly by removing the rear seats, as well as ditching the infotainment system and internal door handles, and carbonfibre has been used for the steering wheel and centre console. 

A full roll-cage and six-point harnesses feature. In total, the Pacesetter is 130kg lighter than the road car and packs a raft of chassis upgrades aimed at boosting dynamic performance. 

Race-spec suspension with three-way-adjustable coil overs has been fitted to provide a “maximum go-kart feeling”.  Further enhancements include new control arm mounts, a 10mm increase in track width and the current JCW GP’s four-piston brake calipers and sports wheels.

2021 Formula E season

The Pacesetter will make its track debut on April 10 when the Formula E season resumes in Rome. It will be driven by Formula E safety car driver, Bruno Correia, who said the car is
very fun to drive, it feels like karting.”

In the wake of the pandemic, the championship has introduced some changes to the calendar. The event in Rome will now serve as a double-header, with Rounds 3 and 4 set to be held on April 10 and 11. The next event in Valencia will also be a double-header, hosting Rounds 5 and 6 on April 24 and 25.

The remainder of the calendar will be announced in the coming weeks.

Also see:

2021 Formula E: Mercedes, Jaguar score Diriyah E-Prix wins

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