Richard Bremner took a Countryman Cooper S All4 to Chile to find an original glassfibre Mini
Cooper S's bright lights and eager turbo were invaluable on the roads through the Elqui Valley
The Countryman proved more than tough enough for the journey
Barren hills, big skies, tiny car on the road through the Atacama desert
The All4 four-wheel drive audibly engages the rear wheels to dig out of deep, dust-filled ruts
The route took in more than 1700 miles
The wild roads took their toll on the rubber and meant a search for run-flat tyres
It delivered a grin on the swooping roads of which Chile has so many
The suspension was a bit too sporty for the miles of dirt track
The Countryman was a capable long-distance device, big enough to play the high-speed cruiser role
Fancying an extended jaunt in a Mini Countryman, Autocar’s Richard Bremner drove one from Santiago, in Chile, to Arica, the northernmost town in the country.
The journey took him and photographer Paul Harmer through the Atacama desert on a mission to uncover an obscure piece of Mini history, taking in salt pans, ghost towns and the occasional brush with the law on the way.
You can read Bremner’s blog for more on the mission, and see some of the some spectacular images of the Countryman in the Atacama.
The full story is in this week’s Autocar magazine, on sale today.