True, news of a prototype hot hatch testing around the Nurburgring isn’t exactly cresting ‘Dog Learns To Speak!’ levels of hysteria, but this particular combination is quite a big moment, because underneath said prototype hot hatch lies a fully electric drivetrain.
Friends, meet the all-electric Mini John Cooper Works, coming your way… soon. Ish. Mini has confirmed that following a growth in sales of its electrified models (Countryman Hybrid, Mini Cooper Electric), it now intends on bringing the JCW’s rocket-powered skateboard philosophy to an electric drivetrain.
“Future Mini vehicle architectures will allow the extreme performance of the John Cooper Works brand to be experienced with electric powertrains as well as combustion engines,” said Mini.
While not entirely unexpected, it will be interesting to see how Mini can ramp up the performance of that electric hatch to JCW levels. Mini hasn’t revealed any performance goals or technical data, but the new e-hatch uses the BMW i3’s single electric motor up front packing 184hp and 270Nm.
The 0-100kph time in that car is 7.3sec, and while swift—and nimble thanks to a T-shaped battery-packed packaged low down—it’ll need a bit of a boost to befit its JCW badging.
Still, Mini is confident it can deliver. “With the Mini Electric, we’ve shown how well brand-typical driving enjoyment and electric mobility can be combined,” explains Mini boss Bernd Körber. “John Cooper Works models with conventional combustion engines will still continue to have an important role to play, to make sure we’re addressing the wishes and needs of performance enthusiasts all around the world.
“With this new focus on electric performance, we’re also creating the opportunity to sharpen the distinctive profile of the John Cooper Works brand more than ever before,” he added.
Watch this space. And that rear wing…
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.