The car that presages a high-performing John Cooper Works version of the all-electric Mini is coming to Goodwood. We’ve seen it on TV – as the safety car for Formula E – and now we will be able to see it in the flesh as it takes on the Goodwood Hill at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard 8th-11th July.
Mini Electric Pacesetter to debut at FOS
It’s unlikely you will be able to miss it in fact, because the Mini Electric Pacesetter will be in full safety car garb, a colourful livery dreamed up by Mini Design, BMW Motorsport and the FIA for the car’s crucial Formula E role.
So it will make quite a sight whirring up the hillclimb… as well as getting folk thinking: where’s the really hot electric Mini Works that we can buy? The Pacesetter is a one-off “inspired by John Cooper Works” but clearly is a concept that has its fans – Mini chief Bernd Körber included. He said recently: “For me, the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit.”
That point will be driven home at FOS this year by the driver chosen to pilot the safety car to the top of the hill, for what will be its UK debut. Behind the wheel will be Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper.
How does the safety car Pacesetter differ from a standard Mini Electric? A sporty body kit comprises new front and fear aprons, chunky flared guards, extended side skirts and a big rear wing on the roof – some of the parts 3D printed in Oxford from recycled carbon-fibre. There’s a light bar on the roof, as per safety car rules, and lots of orange highlights, including very tasty 18-inch forged wheels in black and neon orange, shod with racing tyres.
The wheels, like the body changes, aim to optimise the aero while achieving the central aim of any battery electric car: reducing weight. That is carried through to the interior which has been stripped back to the essentials. The centre console and door cards are all finished in exposed carbon-fibre and the rear seats removed.
All this brings weight down by 130kg from a standard Mini Electric, the Pacesetter tipping the scales at 1,230kg. With the regular model’s power – 184PS (135kW) and 280Nm (206lb ft) – 0-62mph acceleration comes down from 7.3 to 6.7 seconds. And to keep it all pointing in the right direction is adjustable racing coilover suspension and bigger brakes.
Sounds to us like the Mini Electric is already well on its way to earning its Works stripes…
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