The MINI Electric Pacesetter will be the Official FIA Formula E Safety Car, Formula E announced on Monday.
The MINI Electric Pacesetter will be used as pace car at select rounds of the 2021 Formula E Championship alongside the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car.
The Electric Pacesetter will make its debut in Rome on 10 April 2021 at the Race 3 of Formula E’s 2021 season. At the wheel will be official FIA Formula E Safety Car driver Bruno Correia.
MINI has a rich history in motorsport with its performance car segment John Cooper Works. Choice of MINI Electric highlights the car’s performance capabilities and the future direction of the John Cooper Works family.
The exterior of the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW has been purpose-built for life on the track and represents the most dynamic interpretation yet of a MINI with all-electric power.
Behind the visually powerful design of the MINI Electric Pacesetter lies the expertise of BMW Motorsport. Rigorous adherence to lightweight design principles gives the Safety Car a kerb weight of approx. 1,230 kg – which makes it approx. 130 kg lighter than the standard MINI Cooper SE. The drive system – also based on that found in the MINI Cooper SE – produces 135 kW and 280 Nm (206 lb-ft), which enables the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW to sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.7 seconds (standard model: 7.3 s) and from 0-60 km/h (37 mph) in 3.6 seconds (standard model: 3.9 s). Even more important for a Safety Car, though, are the mid-range figures. Here, the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW showcases all the talents of its torque-rich electric drive system with single-speed transmission, enabling a 80-120 km/h (75 mph) time of 4.3 seconds (standard model: 4.6 s) .
The drive system teams up with racing coilover suspension (three-way adjustable for rebound, compression, height and camber) to deliver maximum go-kart feeling. Race-spec suspension control arm mountings, a 10 mm increase in track width, plus the four-piston brakes and wheels from the MINI John Cooper Works GP with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres (size 245/40 R18) round off the overall package. These are the same tyres fitted to the front wheels of Formula E racing cars.
Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer of Formula E, said: “Formula E and MINI are both known for being original, unpredictable and accessible to everyone. We share a progressive global mindset and are committed to an all-electric future. We look forward to watching MINI lead the way through the streets of Formula E’s iconic host cities, demonstrating the dynamic performance and urban appeal of all-electric vehicles.”
Bernd Korber, Head of MINI, said: “We have already shown how well driving fun and electric mobility go together with the MINI Electric. However, the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW goes at least a step 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 in the 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.”
Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, said: “The design is an exciting symbiosis of technical precision and emotion. Here, function dictates form, and many design elements have been shaped by technical considerations.
“We worked closely with our colleagues at BMW Motorsport to develop the form of the wheel arches and front and rear aprons, and the optimisation programme for them included weight-saving measures. This visually striking, technically precise design language gives the car its pervasive sense of emotional engagement and excitement.”
Bruno Correia, FIA Formula E Safety Car driver, said: “Agility, performance, and a cool looking car. The MINI Electric Pacesetter Safety Car of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has got it all.”