Mini’s Pacesetter arrives as new Formula E safety car

Mini has pushed its regular Electric hatchback to the extreme to create the Pacesetter – Formula E’s latest safety car.

Powered by the same battery and motor setup as you’ll find in the road-going Mini Electric, the Pacesetter kicks out 181bhp. However, extensive weight-saving measures have shaved the car’s acceleration times down by over half a second, meaning that it’ll now go from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds.

The most striking changes have been made across the car’s exterior, though. It features extended wheel arches, a deep front splitter and a huge rear wing. Since the electric motor requires far less cooling than a conventional engine, the front end is largely smoothed off to make it as aerodynamically efficient as possible – though the area below the grille and squared-off apertures either side push air through and on to the brakes, cooling them down.

Photos: PA Media

The 18-inch alloy wheels have been finished in orange to match the car’s overall livery, while three-way adjustable racing coilover suspension combines with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport tyres – the same as those fitted to the front wheels of Formula E racing cars – to provide plenty of traction.

Much of the standard car’s weight has been stripped for the Pacesetter, with elements such as the infotainment system and the rear seats ditched in the quest for lightness. In total, the Pacesetter weighs 130kg less than the road-going Mini Electric.

The Pacesetter will make its Formula E debut at the Rome E-Prix which commences on April 10.

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