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This Mini Electric is Formula E’s new safety car

This bright, small battery pack is the new safety car for Formula E. It is called the Mini Electric Pacesetter, and is in its own words “the most dynamic interpretation yet of a Mini with all-electric power”.

It was developed in collaboration with BMW’s Motorsport arm, and the transition from the regular, road-going Mini Electric to this groundbreaking bulldog is strong enough to warrant some discussion. Yes, we need an assembly.

The battery and engine layout reflect the car’s 182 hp, 206 lb ft torque – only here, it pushes significantly less weight. BMW Motorsport worked its magic over the Mini, dropping around 1

30kg. It now weighs 1230 kg.

Both front and rear apron are lighter than before, it is the new flare bows. The new splitters at the front, closed off by the grill (remember that it is electric, so does not require a row) and new brake cooling openings give credibility to the whole atmosphere “I am a friendly bulldog”. The lights required for it flashy new role is incorporated in the hood.

It is a modest side skirt between not so modest, 18in light orange, forged alloy wheels. Because it is only a disposable track, it is the necessary roof-mounted rear wing – a 3D-printed wing, no less – complete with a new row of lights, while the new rear apron has ‘cutouts’ around the rear wheels.

It is also looped inside, with only a couple of racing seats (and harnesses) left. There is of course a steering wheel, some pedals, carbon fiber coating for the gear change, the handbrake and the indicators, and more carbon fiber that adorns the door panels. Oh, and a massive roller cage. Outside the cage, much of this interior was 3D-printed.

The weight loss has sharpened the 0-62 mph time – 6.7 s against the production car’s 7.3 s – and the 0-37 mph time dropped to 3.6 s from 3.9 s. This is the usual pattern of ‘go-kart’ feeling’ [*shudders], here delivered via three-way adjustable suspension, race-spec control arm mounts, a wider track and massive four-piston brakes from the Mini JCW GP.

“This extreme version of the Mini Electric has been developed as the safety car in Formula E, so it is clearly not intended for use on public roads,” explains Mini CEO Bernd Körber. “But it reveals one of the instructions we can take with the electrification of the JCW mark.

“For me, the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works fit well,” he added.

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