But it's not for public consumption.
Late last year, Mini teased a camouflaged electric hot hatch based on the Cooper Electric Hardtop. We know that Mini is planning to turn the John Cooper Works division into an all-electric sub-brand, and although we expect a hardcore EV hatch to arrive at some point, the car Mini teased us with again earlier this month isn't quite what we expected. What you're looking at here is indeed a hot electric hatch from Mini, but it's the new safety car for the Formula E racing series. Still, this could preview a production car, and if it does, it'd be something special.
Although parent company BMW has quit Formula E, the German automaker's motorsport division, which is set to merge with BMW M as of tomorrow, helped collaborate on this vehicle, officially called the Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW. The message that the brand wants to send with this car, as per Mini chief Bernd Korber, is that "electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit."
Drawing attention to the car's sporting ability is its exterior design, which includes specially adapted wheel arches to increase track width, as well as additional front splitters, brake cooling ducts, and signature Mini stripes. Safety car lighting also adorns the car, as do spats and spoilers 3D printed from recycled carbon fiber. Forged 18-inch wheels adapted from those on the hardcore GP model are fitted too, while a menacing rear diffuser helps the car look every inch the racecar.
As a car to be used only on the track, the cabin is pared back to only the essentials and includes a six-point harness for the driver, plenty of 3D printed carbon fiber, and lightweight cloth straps for the window and door openers. A welded-in roll cage improves safety.
As for performance, the electric drive system produces 181 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque, allowing the Pacesetter to complete the sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds. A three-way adjustable suspension system allows the car to be tuned for various tracks while the same Michelin Pilot Sport tires used on the front wheels of Formula E racers handle grip.
If you'd like to see the car in action, it'll be in service for the first time in Rome on April 10, at the second event of the 2021 Formula E season.