A heavily modified version of the Mini Countryman All4 has won this year’s gruelling 5500-mile Dakar Rally. Built by German tuning company X-Raid, the rally-winning Mini is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine, which produces 311bhp and 516lb ft of torque.
Drive is transferred through all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. As well as a custom-built rollcage and a substantial suspension rework, other features of the Dakar car include water-cooled rear brakes and a 420-litre fuel tank.
At 4333mm long, 1966mm high and 1988mm wide, it’s also 236mm longer, 405mm taller and 200mm wider than the car on which it is based. The top speed is capped at 112mph due to the Mini’s short gearing – acceleration is more important than top-end pace on the desert event.
Dakar expert Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret won the rally, which started in Mar del Plata in Argentina on New Year’s Day and finished in Lima, Peru, on January 15.
It was the Frenchman’s tenth victory on the event – six of those wins came on a motorbike – and he finished nearly 42 minutes ahead of Mini team-mates Nani Roma and Michel Périn.