We’ve known that an electric Mini JCW hot hatchback is in the works from the Brit brand by BMW. It’s an exciting proposition, one many of us are looking forward to, and it gets more exciting as the day draws nearer. In a tweet on Wednesday, Mini released the above teaser image with the caption “Feels like it’s time for a boost. Watch this space... #ElectricThrillMaximised” Does that mean Mini will be pacing the field at future Formula E events?
The current Formula E safety car is this unique roofless BMW i8 with a giant wing. The hybrid i8 sports car has been serving in this role since season 1 way back in 2014 when the i8 was a brand new car. It makes sense that the company would want to replace the aging i8 as the face of safety in one of the most advanced and forward-looking series in the world of motorsport. Not least because the i8 will be ending production soon, but also because BMW will be leaving Formula E at the end of this season.
With BMW out, and Mini’s commitment to electrification, this swap would make perfect sense. You can see from the light bar on the roof of the Mini that it matches the one currently in use on the BMW. Therefore, one could infer that this is the specification which will continue onward into Mini’s tenure as safety car.
I have high hopes for the electric JCW. The Mini Cooper SE electric is already considered one of the best handling electric cars on the market, so by extension the better handling JCW version should deliver more power and more on-track speed. Because Formula E tracks are typically quite tight, the Mini should be able to deliver on the job of safety car. Electric torque and nimble handling should be enough tools in the box for the effort.
Dammit, I’m going to have to buy one of these things, aren’t I?
With Mini almost sure to be running the Formula E safety car in the near future, how long will it be before Mini enters the sport as a manufacturer? While it’s certain that BMW is leaving FE, there’s nothing saying its compact car brand can’t pick up where it left off. It wouldn’t be the first time in this series, either, as Nissan’s FE program came out of Renault’s abandoning the sport.
I, for one, would love to see Mini racing in Formula E.