EV versus ICE.

Mini recently admitted the next-generation John Cooper Works could lose its internal combustion engine. And while that doesn’t seem highly likely at this point, the British company has already taken the first steps towards an emission-free future with the Mini Cooper SE. It’s the brand’s first all-electric production car and has a relatively modest single-motor powertrain with a peak output of 184 horsepower (135 kilowatts) and 199 pound-feet (270 Newton-meters) of torque.

The Fast Lane Car channel on YouTube decided to put the new Mini EV against a Mini John Cooper Works from the R56 generation of the model. It’s important to note that this JCW was upgraded from a standard car by the dealer with the JCW power kit, which adds an uprated induction system, exhaust, and ECU remap. Thanks to the factory upgrade, it has about 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts), channeled to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Gallery: MINI Electric (MINI Cooper SE)

At least on paper, the combustion-powered hatch here has a small advantage. The 2010 Mini JCW should be capable of reaching 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) from a standstill in approximately 6.8 seconds. Its modern all-electric successor needs 7.3 seconds for the same run, which still puts it in a good position ahead of the drag race.

You might be surprised by the results of the speed challenge but there seem to be at least two good reasons for that. First, the JCW is obviously not brand new, which means that there probably are fewer horses left under the hood. Second, you need to shift gears in the JCW, which adds the subjective factor to the car’s performance. But which one of the two is more fun to drive? Watch the video at the top of this page to find out.

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