The new FIA Formula E Safety Car from BMW made its debut at Rome E-Prix: the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW. And it was an eventful race for this electric MINI. In light of adverse weather conditions and turbulent races with several incidents, the new FIA Formula E safety car was called into action four times on its debut in Rome.
One look at the Pacesetter and it’s clear that the JCW GP was the basis for its styling. It gets similar fender blades, albeit painted rather than exposed carbon fiber, it has similar wheels, just in a different color scheme, and it has the same roof spoiler, only with a massive light bar on top. The Pacesetter wears a very cool electric-looking livery, with the MINI Electric plug logo on its roof, and the LED lights in the hood “scoop” are very slick.
All of the aero on the exterior, including the fender blades and rear wing, is also made from 3D-printed, recycled carbon fiber, which not only makes them very light but also quite green. Which is fitting for an electric pace car. BMW Motorsport engineers were able to achieve a weight reduction of around 130 kg compared with the production model, and thus an unladen weight of around 1,230 kg.
In addition to the body in white, the powertrain is another component taken from the production vehicle. Only details were modified to meet the specific requirements of a safety car, and it yields 135 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque. This sees the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds (production: 7.3 sec.), from 0-60 km/h in 3.6 sec. (production: 3.9 sec.) and from 80-120 km/h in 4.3 sec. (production: 4.6 sec.).
As a proper Safety Car, it also gets some handling bits. Thanks to the three-way adjustable dampers, the new MINI Electric Pacesetter sits lower and feature sharper dynamics. The suspension is manually-adjustable, so you can’t just flick a switch inside the cabin, but it’s three-way adjustable; height, damper, and rebound. What’s interesting is that camber is also adjustable, if you’d like. It gets a 10mm wider wheel track than the standard MINI Cooper SE, four-piston brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
The safety car contains all the modules required by the FIA for passive safety. In the interior, the driver has all the required systems such as radio, GPS, transponder and the control panels for the lighting system.
Click below for more photos of the car: