As a brand devoted to building fun cars, Mini must adapt to the changing times by infusing fun into its expanding line of electric vehicles. The new Mini Cooper debuted in September with a single 214-horsepower motor turning the front wheels in SE trim or 181 hp in standard form. There's certainly potential in that package, but Mini enthusiasts turn to the amped-up John Cooper Works spec for the biggest smiles.
We're happy to say that the JCW won't die with combustion power. We have that assurance straight from two Mini executives who spoke to us about the future of JCW. And while they didn't paint a clear picture of what's in the pipeline, spy photos confirm an electric JCW is coming soon.
What will that be like? Here's everything we know so far about the 2025 Mini Cooper JCW EV.
What Will It Look Like?
Mini's design formula hasn't strayed far from the 2001 reboot, which means a small hatch with round headlights, a high beltline, and a big oval grille up front. Yes, a grille will endure into Mini's electric era, or at least the outline of one as we see on the 2024 Mini Cooper EV that debuted in September.
That will serve as the basis for the more aggressive JCW. Based on recent spy photos of a camouflaged JCW prototype, our rendering highlights a more aggressive front fascia. The Cooper's smooth face will gain a lip at the bottom and vertically oriented corner vents around the edges. We believe the grille will gain larger vents at the bottom for improved battery cooling.
Side sills will help the bigger fascia blend well with the rest of the car, while also giving the hot hatch a meaner stance. At the back you can expect a thick extension around the rear glass with a roof spoiler up top, and a squared lower fascia with a modest diffuser at the bottom.
What's Under The Hood?
Perhaps the better question here is, what isn't under the hood? We aren't talking about the lack of an internal combustion engine here, but rather, the lack of a dual-motor setup. All-wheel-drive EV performance is all the rage these days, but in the interest of saving weight, the electric Mini JCW could soldier on with a single motor turning just the front wheels.
Speaking to Motor1, Global Head of Mini Product Christian Wehner emphasized the need to find a nice balance of power and handling.
"All electric cars have good acceleration," he says, "but do all of these electric cars deliver go-kart fun? Definitely not. Because other things come into play, the weight of the car, the steering of the car, how it feels to sit in the car."
What does that mean for the JCW? The 2024 Mini Cooper makes 214 hp in SE trim. Spy sources believe a logical step up would be something in the 250 hp range for an electric JCW, utilizing the larger 54.2-kilowatt-hour battery pack to make it happen.
How Far Will It Go On A Charge?
Range estimates are a bit complicated at the moment. Mini lists a range of 249 miles for the SE when equipped with the aforementioned 54.2-kWh battery pack. However, that range is based on the European WLTP standards. In the US, the current 2024 Mini SE only has a range of 114 miles, but the EPA doesn't yet have a rating for the new model, which the JCW trim will be based on.
We would expect an EPA range figure to fall somewhere in the vicinity of around 200 miles, but this can vary greatly depending on the horsepower and battery capacity.
When Will It Debut?
Mini hasn't made any official announcement regarding when the electric JCW will debut. The electric Mini Cooper in E and SE trim debuted in September 2023, and JCW trims usually aren't too far behind. We've already caught prototypes testing in public, so an official debut later in 2024 as a 2025 model is likely.
How Much Will It Cost?
The electric 2024 Mini Cooper SE starts at $31,895, including a $995 destination fee. That's about $7,000 more than the combustion-powered model. Meanwhile, the current JCW with a gas engine starts at $36,395. Obviously, it's difficult to compare combustion and EV models when it comes to price, but if we extrapolate the same $7,000 price difference, a 2025 Mini Cooper JCW EV could start right around $40,000.