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Mini debuts the Electric Pacesetter as the 2021 Formula E safety car

The car could represent a new direction for the John Cooper Works subbrand.

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Uh, this thing is AWESOME.

Mini

Last week, Mini teased some kind of hot-looking electric Cooper on its Twitter. We messed around with the image in Photoshop, and all we were able to see more clearly were some boxy rear fenders. Now, thanks to an announcement made on Tuesday, we know precisely what that teaser was for.

The answer -- somewhat regrettably -- is the rather awkwardly named "Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW," which is set to serve as the latest and greatest safety car for the Formula E world championship.

We say regrettably because this thing looks fantastic, and a hot electric hatchback seems like just the kind of thing that Mini should be building these days, but the Electric Pacesetter isn't road-legal, though Mini does say that it could represent a new direction for the JCW brand.

The Electric Pacesetter is based on Mini's SE electric Cooper model and features a 181-horsepower electric drivetrain and a total curb weight that's 286 pounds lighter than the standard road-going SE model. 

The car was designed collaboratively by Mini, Motorsport, FIA and Formula E, and will make its official race debut on April 10 in Rome during the third race of the E-Prix.

Mini's Electric Pacesetter is the EV hot hatch we want, but can't have

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Watch this: 2020 Mini JCW GP: Fierce looks and a wild ride
Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).

Article updated on March 30, 2021 at 4:12 PM PDT

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Kyle Hyatt
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Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
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