We need a JCW Mini Cooper EV now!
Mini is trying to pump up its green credentials with the new "Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW." It's a one-off EV hot hatch, specially built as a safety car, to be used for the rest of 2021 Formula E season. It's faster and looks meaner than the company's current Mini Cooper SE EV, which is fantastic to drive, though its range is a little shorter than we'd like.
Here, it's competing in an unconventional road challenge against the also-electric Milan Metro subway train. Charlie Cooper, a member of the founding family of John Cooper Works and grandson of John Cooper is behind the wheel of the Mini Electric Pacesetter. Official Safety Car driver Bruno Correia is on the train.
The Pacesetter, which we're hoping portends a production vehicle, is finished in a special opaque silver livery and delivers 181 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. That's the same power and just a little more torque than the Cooper SE with 199 lb-ft.
The Pacesetter goes from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds, which isn't quick, but neither is a subway train. It has a three-way adjustable suspension and Michelin Pilot sport tires, same as the front rubber on the Formula E cars it will be leading.
In the video the race starts surprisingly close, with the Mini and the train neck and neck through the first 50 feet. They eventually break off from each other but do cross paths a few times. Like all of these commercials, Mini has to note that this was done on "a closed course and with professional drivers."
In an earlier announcement, Mini noted that EV and John Cooper Works would be a good fit, and we'd love to see it. We're just hoping a JCW EV will get a bigger output bump over the current SE.