Can The Electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE Beat A Performance-Tuned JCW On The Track? Let’s Find Out With A Drag Race!

We take both on a hot lap as well — which one is quicker?

In pretty much any form, the Mini is a fantastically fun car to toss around on a track. Take Tommy’s latest purchase — a 2010 Mini Cooper S with a dealer-installed JCW upgrade kit. It’s not a hugely powerful car, making just around 200 horsepower. That said, it’s also a featherweight by modern standards, making this hot hatch a ton of fun as a daily driver. What’s more, most of you guys really seem to like that Mini, as it’s turned out to be a much better car than the Mini John Cooper Works GP, a car we bought from Trophy Motors in Texas that has been a complete and utter mess.

Even with as fun as the Mini can be, though, it’s not the way of the future. No, that would be the all-electric Mini Cooper SE, which just came onto the market. With zero emissions, a Cooper S-like 181 horsepower and a dollop of instantaneous torque, it should crush the outdated gasoline Mini in a drag race…right? In this video, that’s what Roman and Andre are going to find out.

DRAG RACE! Can The New Electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE Beat A Performance-Tuned JCW On The Track?
This 2010 Mini Cooper S is a ton of fun in a small package. [Photo: TFLcar]

The contenders: past vs. future

Here’s four words that define this past Mini: Six. Speed. Manual. Transmission. Naturally you don’t get that with the electric Mini, and it’s part of what makes this JCW-ified Mini Cooper S such a hoot to drive. Apart from the 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque you get, a third pedal automatically makes it more fun. But can it win in a drag race and on the hot lap? Check out the video above to find out!

As for the electric Mini, you do get a thoroughly more modern car for your money. Granted, it’s not cheap. Against the 2010 Mini’s $6,000 price tag, the $29,900 MSRP of the Mini Cooper SE can be a tough pill to swallow. You do qualify for federal and state tax incentives for buying one though, so that’s a plus point to consider. It has 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, but it also carries a 300 pound weight disadvantage.

DRAG RACE! Can The New Electric 2020 Mini Cooper SE Beat A Performance-Tuned JCW On The Track?
The Mini Cooper SE represents the future, but is it way quicker than the past? [Photo: Mini]

With electric cars, the question usually centers not so much around performance, but range. Push an EV hard, and you will pay for it by running out of juice faster, meaning you’ll soon be tethered to a charging station. Surprisingly, the Mini Cooper SE is much more efficient than we were expecting, but is it actually faster?

Watch the video above for the results of the drag race and hot lap, then stay tuned to for more Mini videos coming soon!