As ‘Official Vehicle Partner’, BMW Group has been closely linked with the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship since the very first race around seven years ago. A new FIA Formula E safety car now leads the field with the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW. The fully electric car was designed by BMW Motorsport with racing technology, making it perfectly suited to the special requirements of a FIA Formula E safety car.
FIA President Jean Todt and the official FIA Formula E safety car driver Bruno Correia (POR) were among those won over at the recent Rome E-Prix with plenty of safety car action. “The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the top electric racing series as well as an efficient way to promote urban sustainable mobility,” said Todt.
“The new Official Safety Car – the MINI Electric Pacesetter – is a case in point. As safety is one of the FIA’s top priorities, we’ve collaborated with BMW Group and Formula E to develop a car model to play this key role. I have had the pleasure to test it in Rome last weekend and its first outing has met the expectations. It has reminded me of nice memories as I started to compete in Rally in a Mini Cooper.“
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 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds (production: 7.3 sec.), from 0-60mph in 3.6 sec. (production: 3.9 sec.) and from 80-120 mph in 4.3 sec. (production: 4.6 sec.).
The brakes are largely identical in construction to those of the MINI John Cooper Works GP (combined fuel consumption: 7.3 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 167 g/km). For the chassis, the basic concept was adopted from production; however, numerous components – for example, the spring damper system – were replaced with motorsport elements. A totally new feature is the Kevlar underride guard familiar from rallying, which primarily protects the battery when driving roughly over kerbs. The size, profile and rubber compound of the tyres have also been modified for use as a safety car.
Through the consistent use of carbon and CFRP in the construction of the specific bodywork modifications – some of which were even produced using 3D printing – the BMW Motorsport engineers were able to achieve a weight reduction of 130 kg compared with the production MINI Electric, and thus an unladen weight of around 1,230 kg. 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.
Alongside the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW, the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car (fuel consumption (combined): 2.0 l /100 km; energy use (combined): 14.5 kWh /100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km)*, which has been modified specially for racing use, will continue to be appearing as Formula E safety car. The fleet also includes the BMW i3s (Power consumption in kWh/100: 14.6-14.0 (NEDC); 16.6-16.3 (WLTP), electric range in km: 278-283 (WLTP))* as ‘Race Director Car’ and the BMW iX3 (Power consumption in kWh/100: 17.8-17.5 (NEDC); 19.0-18.6 (WLTP), electric range in km: 450-458 (WLTP))* in its roles as ‘Medical Car’ and ‘Rescue Car’.