BMW Group previously teased an electric version of Mini’s John Cooper Works GP in a recent mockumentary focusing on the iNext, but a new batch of official images of a wrapped prototype testing out on track confirms the upcoming performance EV. Naturally, very few Mini aficionados will be surprised by this development.
Externally, the battery-powered JCW two-door concept looks like a regular JCW GP that ran into a sheet of black plastic. There’s a covered-up round logo on the driver-side of the grille, which will likely mimic the emblem worn by the current Cooper Electric (which has also been known as the Mini Cooper S E EV and the Mini Electric. Clear as mud? Good.)
Otherwise, the electric JCW concept wears the vented fender flares, hood scoop, and front spoiler, side skirts, and high-flying wing as its gas-powered sibling. (The array of lighting elements inside the headlights may have been tweaked, to help distinguish the EV.)
Of course, the cutout in the rear diffuser for the current JCW’s dual exhaust is conspicuously empty, and the lower front fascia betrays the EV’s different cooling demands. Still, behind the front wheels we can glimpse some appropriately chonky two-piston calipers.
We’ve got a boatload of pictures, but no powertrain details … yet.
As with all EVs, the use case for this spicy little hatch is going to be dependent on its range. The U.K.-0nly Mini Electric touts a 144-mile range that’s only suited for urban errands. Even if Mini could, say, add another 100 miles to that figure, prospective customers of a battery-powered JCW would quickly consume that range with a spirited (read: inherently inefficient) driving style. The challenge of engineering a thrashable EV powertrain that won’t leave you stranded on your favorite backroad is both difficult and worth tackling, and we’re excited to see Mini’s solution.