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New electric MINI John Cooper Works E shakes down before Goodwood debut

MINI gives its electric hatchback the full JCW makeover – here’s its first teaser

  • First electric MINI John Cooper Works
  • To be sold alongside petrol JCW
  • Prototype debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

MINI is ramping up to unveil its latest electric hot hatchback, the new MINI John Cooper Works E. MINIs with the JCW badge have sat at the top of the brand’s performance hierarchy for around two decades, but the new model represents the first time those three letters have been applied to an electric model.

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Before the production-ready car is unveiled later in the year, MINI will present the John Cooper Works E in concept form at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’ll take to the famous hill climb alongside a roster of iconic race cars, new supercars and other performance EVs.

What can we expect from the new MINI John Cooper Works E?

Don’t feel left out if you’re not attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year – MINI has revealed some teaser pictures of the new MINI John Cooper Works E concept that show off its sporty look. The concept car – officially named the MINI John Cooper Works E PROtotype – looks to wear a similar styling package to the upcoming petrol-powered MINI John Cooper Works, revealed in matching camouflage earlier this year.

Despite looking near-identical from the outside, the electric and petrol MINIs are very different under the metalwork. Petrol models use an overhauled version of the outgoing MINI’s platform, while the electric Cooper sits on a bespoke architecture co-developed with Chinese car maker Great Wall Motors. We don’t know the official battery or motor specifications for the JCW E yet, but MINI claims it will use an “advanced electric powertrain”, suggesting that it could develop a chunk more power than MINI Cooper SE.

That model currently sits at the top of the Cooper food chain, with a 54kWh battery and a 215bhp front-mounted electric motor. While we don’t expect the fundamental layout to change for the JCW E – it’s more than likely to remain front-wheel drive – it has been rumoured that the platform could accept a rear-mounted motor as well, leaving room for an even faster dual-motor variant in the future.

Without an engine to cool, the MINI John Cooper Works E doesn’t need the same large grille and air intakes found on the petrol JCW. Instead, it uses a blanked-off grille arrangement, with a pair of black aerodynamic elements on either side. Things are different at the rear, too – there are no exhaust pipes to speak of so MINI has been able to fit a wider diffuser, and there’s a wider roof spoiler to match.

We’ll receive further technical details of both the petrol and electric MINI John Cooper Works models later this year. 

Read our top 10 list of the best hot hatchbacks on sale today…

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