MINI Cooper JCW GP Races Three "Boring" EVs, Doesn't Do ICEs Any Favors

MINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag races 10 photos
Photo: The Fast Lane Car / YouTube screenshot
MINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag racesMINI Cooper JCW GP Vs EVs drag races
Even though we all know EVs can be quick, we only tend to associate performance with a few of the ever-growing number of battery-powered cars.
The top-end Teslas come to mind, particularly the Model S Plaid, the Porsche Taycan as well, the Audi e-tron GT RS perhaps (though it tends to live in the shadow of the more powerful Porsche), the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, and we're pretty sure we're missing a few. Still, here are three names you're not very likely to include on that list: the MINI Cooper SE, the Hyundai Kona Electric, and definitely not the Nissan LEAF.

These are what mean people would call "mean EVs," while others would just refer to them as "practical" – though that might be a bit of a stretch when it comes to the three-door MINI. Anyway, call them what you will, they're the kind of cars you buy because you want to use them, and not to get any particular thrills out of the ownership.

Well, the exact opposite can be said about the MINI Cooper JCW GP (admittedly, an older model in this case). That car is all about fun. Like all MINIs, it's pretty cramped, the three-door setup throws any claim for practicality out the tiny window, and the trademark direct steering and rubber-blocks suspension (not really, but it feels like it) combo makes the GP tremendously engaging, yet a very hard sell to your partner if they don't share your passion for driving and rely instead on sense.

What these things don't make the MINI Cooper JCW GP is a drag racing beast, nor does the output of its 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. With just 160 kW (214 hp) to brag, the GP is the joint top performer in the power department here (tied with the LEAF, believe it or not), and even though it's significantly lighter, it's also down on torque. However, its main drawback in this encounter against the non-glitzy EV brigade is going to be the six-speed manual transmission.

We've all seen how regardless of the driver's skill, stick-shifting tends to cost cars in drag racing when coming against lightning-fast double-clutch automatics. Well, just imagine what it's going to do next to cars that don't have to switch between gears at all – the GP should only really be in the race until the first shift. If the track was any longer, it might have staged a comeback later on, as it reached the longer high gears, but sadly, this track is way too short for that.

With that out of the way, the real question here is this: which of the three EVs is the quickest? In all honesty, the answer is not all that important, but since it's available, feel free to find out for yourself by hitting "play" on the video below.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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