Mini has unveiled their new John Cooper Works-inspired electric Pacesetter.
The car will be used as the official safety car for the 2021 FIA Formula E championship.
“For me, the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit,” said Bernd Korber, Head of Mini.
The exterior of the Mini Pacesetter has been purpose-built with track dominance in mind.
“Here, function dictates form, and many design elements have been shaped by technical considerations,” said Oliver Heilmer, Head of Mini Design.
Custom wheel arches were designed in partnership with BMW Motorsport, and include stringent weight saving measures and deliberate form factors.
This Mini does, however, still look like the car we all know.
Up front it gets the round lights and hexagonal grille, it still has a two-tone roof, and the rear has the Union Jack lights.
Besides this, the aggressive wheel arches, deep front apron, sculpted rear diffuser, exclusive wheels, and race car decals lend this Mini an imposing look.
The cabin of the Pacesetter was also put on a diet, and front seats just about cover all the comfort features.
The driver’s seat is fitted with a thin layer of 3D-printed foam and a six-point harness system, which are rated for use on both the road and track.
The cabin also gets a minimalist steering wheel with carbon fibre impact absorbers, and a rather small digital instrument cluster that only shows the most important pieces of information.
Mini then took it a couple of steps further, and replaced the infotainment system, gear lever, handbrake lever, signal lights, and door panels with carbon fibre copies.
As a finishing touch, a roll-cage was welded into the area that the rear seats usually occupy, and the remainder of the interior was painted in typical racing white “for functional reasons”.
Do these changes make this the best-looking Mini ever made? I definitely think so.
Below the impressive outer shell lies a battery-powered drivetrain capable of producing 135kW and 280Nm of torque.
This is good for sending the Electric Pacesetter to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds – 0.6 seconds faster than the standard model.
Standstill acceleration isn’t a large factor for safety cars though, and mid-range prowess is much more appreciated.
To ensure compliance in this area, BMW Motorsport tuned the single-gear electric drivetrain to accelerate from 80-120km/h in 4.3 seconds – 0.3 seconds faster than the standard model.
A “go-kart feeling” drive experience is then delivered by a racing coilover suspension treatment.