Formula E will use a modified example of the fully electric Mini as its safety vehicle for select events this season before the brand’s parent company BMW leaves the championship.
The competition first featured a standard i8 Coupe, then a track-modified version of the hybrid sports car before unveiling a short-screen i8 Roadster in 2019 as the world’s first convertible safety car.
The i8 Roadster will now share duties with an adapted Mini from John Cooper Works dubbed the ‘Electric Pacesetter’, which will debut for the upcoming race in Rome from April 10-11, recently boosted to become a double-header event.
Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle said: “Formula E and MINI are known for being original, unpredictable and accessible to everyone. We share a progressive global mindset and are committed to an all-electric future.”
Reigle added that he hopes to see MINI lead the way through the streets of iconic Formula E host cities, demonstrating the dynamic performance and urban appeal of electric vehicles.
The Mini Electric Pacesetter has received styling adjustments, including a widened rear spoiler and wheel arches, which resemble the third version of the road Mini Cooper JCW GP with an internal combustion engine.
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The vehicle is 130 kg lighter than the regular Mini Electric, but has the same 182 hp to accelerate to 99 kilometers per hour in 6.7 seconds, six tenths faster than the standard car.
Championship safety car driver Bruno Correia added: “It’s a lot of fun to drive, it feels like karting.”
It should be noted, that BMW has provided the Safety Car to Formula E since the inaugural 2014-15 campaign. This move comes after BMW has “exhausted opportunities” to develop its technologies within the championship.
Written by | Gabriel Sayago