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March 30, 2021

Will MINI Abandon JCW Models With All-Electric Push?

Previously, The BMW Group announced that it’s going electric, and the first brand to do so would be MINI. With MINI’s urban positioning, it will debut its last combustion engine in 2025, and by the 2030s will only sell purely electric models.

Naturally, this casts some doubt on MINI’s high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) models, a doubt that Bernd Körber, Head of MINI, just shot down.

Coinciding with MINI’s announcement of becoming Formula E’s pace car with the MINI Electric Pacesetter, this is what Körber had to say:
“We have already shown how well driving fun and electric mobility go together with the MINI Electric. The MINI Electric Pacesetter goes at many steps further and blends the performance character of the John Cooper Works brand with electric mobility. This extreme version of the MINI Electric has been developed as the Safety Car for Formula E, so is clearly not intended for use on public roads. But it does reveal one of the directions we could take with the electrification of the JCW brand. For me, the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit.”
Taking a standard all-electric MINI Cooper SE, the MINI Electric Pacesetter has undergone drastic weight-saving measures, shedding some 130 kilograms in the process (curb weight is at 1,230 kilograms). The drive system still produces 184 horsepower and 280 Nm of torque, but the reduction in mass cuts its 0 to 100 km/h time to just 6.7 seconds.

Even more important, according to MINI is its mid-range figures. The torque-rich electric drive system coupled with a single-speed transmission enables an 80 to 120 km/h time of just 4.3 seconds.

Giving the MINI Electric Pacesetter better grip around corners, BMW Motorsport engineers have given it race-spec coilovers with three-way adjustable settings and suspension control arm mountings. The track has been increased by 10 mm too.

Outside, it merges the classic MINI design cues such as the circular headlights and hexagonal radiator grille with signature John Cooper Works elements such as the extended wheel arches and deep front spoiler with addition splitters. Forged 18-inch wheels with 245/40R18 tires and four-piston calipers round off the handling package.

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