New Mini rally car will makes its competitive rally debut in January's Dakar Rally

Mini’s new Countryman rally car will enter the 2011 Dakar Rally.

Rally specialist X-Raid is developing the all-wheel-drive crossover with funding from energy drink firm Monster Energy. It will also run a Monster Energy livery in the event, which starts next month in Argentina.

See a rendering on the X-Raid Mini Countryman

X-Raid previously ran the successful BMW X3CC rally car and won three FIA World Cup cross-country racing titles with the car. The Mini All4 Racing’s Dakar appearance will be its competitive debut, ahead of a part-time programme in next year’s World Rally Championship.

The X-Raid Countryman will borrow the X3CC’s 311bhp, 523lb ft turbodiesel unit. X-Raid will be hoping to better last year’s fourth and fifth places acheived with the X3CC as the Countryman has larger air intakes, a shorter wheelbase and a much lower centre of gravity than that car.

Read more on Mini's Countryman WRC plans

See all the latest Mini Countryman reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Mini Countryman
Mini bigs itself up in a quest to find new and retain old customers

The Mini Countryman represents the biggest stretch yet for Mini – for the car and the brand

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