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.
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.