Classic vs Electric vs JCW vs Race Car Mini Drag Race – Which One Is The Quickest?

Mini Goofy Drag Race — Ep. 3
We’re testing not just one or two, but four different Minis across the decades.

Which of these Minis is the quickest?

With the addition of a brand new, all-electric 2022 Mini Cooper SE to the TFL base, we’re building out quite a fleet. One that includes both Tommy’s 1993 (right-hand drive) Rover Mini, as well as a 2013 F56 Mini John Cooper Works GP. When yet another Mini arrived — a JCW out of the brand’s own press fleet — we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get them all together on the track. Outside Mini Takes The States, we don’t usually get an opportunity to actually see or test out four Minis at the same time. We have another ‘Goofy Drag Race ‘on our hands then! But which of these four fun hatches is actually the quickest?

Mini Goofy Drag Race — Ep. 3

The contenders

Well, right off the bat Tommy’s 1993 Rover Mini isn’t out-and-out the quickest. Its design and powertrain stretch all the way back to the Mini’s original launch in 1959. The various British car companies responsible for building the Mini kept it rolling with relatively few changes for four decades, before finally stopping production in 2000. This car manages just 74 horsepower, though it only weighs around 1,550 pounds. Thanks to the low weight and manual transmission, it’s still a blast to drive, and corners like a bona fide go kart.

The 2013 GP has plenty of grunt to win this competition. Its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine cranks out an impressive 218 horsepower through a six-speed manual transmission. This one is the most “hardcore” of the bunch — and the current generation GP is actually one of the quickest front-wheel drive cars around at the moment. One rung down from a GP is the 2021 Mini Cooper JCW we have from the manufacturer. It makes more power than the old GP, with 228 horsepower lighting up the front wheels. Nevertheless, its loaded with modern technology that could weigh it down in a short drag race like this.

The electric Mini Cooper SE, to our minds, is the ringer here. It looks like the standard gas model, but it doesn’t have turbo lag, altitude or driver skill with a manual gearbox off the line. Just put your foot down, and the electric motor churns out all 181 available horsepower to the front wheels. That should put it in contention with the other modern Minis, but it’s also properly heavy thanks to its 32-kWh battery.

Check out the full results to see whether the EV Mini took the day below: