Formula E unveils electric Mini safety car for select races

Formula E will use a modified example of the all-electric Mini as its safety car for select events this season ahead of the marque’s parent company BMW quitting the championship. 

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
1/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
2/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
3/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
4/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
5/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, design team
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, design team
6/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, detail
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, detail
7/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, detail
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car, detail
8/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
9/10

Photo by: BMW AG

MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
MINI Electric Pacesetter, FIA Formula E Safety Car
10/10

Photo by: BMW AG

BMW has provided the safety car to Formula E since the inaugural 2014-15 campaign. 

It first ran with a standard i8 Coupe, then a track-modified version of the hybrid sportscar before revealing a cut-screen i8 Roadster in 2019 as the world’s first convertible safety car.  

But the i8 Roadster will now share duties with a John Cooper Works-adapted Mini dubbed the ‘Electric Pacesetter’, which will debut for the next race in Rome across 10-11 April - recently boosted to become a double-header event with the Marrakesh E-Prix set to be cancelled. 

This move for the remainder of the 2021 season comes as Mini owner BMW will exit Formula E at the end of the campaign having “essentially exhausted the opportunities" to develop its technologies within the championship. 

Formula E chief executive officer Jamie Reigle 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." 

The Mini Electric Pacesetter has received styling tweaks, including a rear wing and flared wheel arches, that resemble the third iteration of the internal combustion-engined Mini Cooper JCW GP road car. 

It is 130kg lighter than the regular Mini Electric but runs the same 182bhp output to accelerate to 62mph in 6.7 seconds, six tenths quicker than the standard car.  

Further modifications include three-adjustable racing coilover suspension, a 10mm increase in track width and the same 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport all-weather tyres as used on the front of the Formula E cars.  

Championship safety car driver Bruno Correia added: “It’s very fun to drive, it feels like karting.” 

The Mini Electric Pacesetter will share duties with the i8 Roadster, which was demonstrated by Brooklyn Beckham at the 2020 Mexico E-Prix, this season.  

This is a similar set-up to that used in Formula 1 in 2021, where an upgraded Aston Martin Vantage has been introduced alongside the long-standing Mercedes AMG GT R.  

It is expected that the championship will run an all-new safety car from next year in the absence of BMW.   

shares
comments

Related video

Formula E makes Rome and Valencia double-header events
Previous article

Formula E makes Rome and Valencia double-header events

Next article

Nissan delays introduction of new Formula E powertrain

Nissan delays introduction of new Formula E powertrain
Load comments
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021
The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning Prime

The Formula E 'loan' deal that will keep di Grassi winning

OPINION: The departure of Audi from Formula E meant its long-time driver Lucas di Grassi would need to find a new berth to stay on the grid. His deal at Venturi Racing will ensure the championship's first-ever race winner will remain competitive into the final year of the current Gen2 ruleset - although it may not be a long-term fit

Formula E
Sep 15, 2021
The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure Prime

The problems laid bare by Mercedes' impending Formula E departure

Mercedes' planned withdrawal from Formula E at the end of the 2022 season will contribute to the big hole left by fellow automotive manufacturers Audi and BMW on their departures. Although the team may stick around under a different guise, the exit of the now-reigning teams' champion underlines FE's current issues...

Formula E
Aug 18, 2021