Unfortunately, that’s all Mini has actually said about a future electric John Cooper Works model: that it’s in development. Anything else about it, such as how hardcore it will be, or what motor it will use, is entirely up for speculation. All we have to go on are photos of the prototype.
From the looks of it, the prototype is simply a Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) GP, but with an electric powertrain. The entire body, even the giant wing and funky fender flares, is the same as the uncompromising GP, except for the grille. The grille is the mostly solid example used on the Cooper SE. There aren’t any tailpipes on this car either, for obvious reasons.
This certainly suggests Mini is planning a mean electric JCW, and not just a slightly stiffer upgrade from the S/SE models. It raises big questions about the motor, though. The gas-powered GP is the most powerful production Mini in history with over 300 horsepower. Only one BMW motor has been used in a Mini so far: the base i3 motor, which makes 181 horsepower. The i3s has a punchier motor that makes 195 horsepower that would probably drop in easily, but it wouldn’t seem powerful enough for a GP-type car. Perhaps the iX3’s motor, which makes 286 horsepower, could fit? It would certainly be near enough to the GP’s engine. Maybe even one of the motors from the dual-motor, 500-horsepower BMW iX would do the job?
We’ll just have to wait and see, and it’s hard to say just how long, since Mini gave no information on reveals. Hopefully it won’t be too long if the company is testing minimally camouflaged electric GP prototypes.