Currently reading: Modified Countryman wins Dakar
A heavily modified version of the Mini Countryman All4 has won this year’s Dakar rally
Autocar
News
1 min read
17 January 2012

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.

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TegTypeR 19 January 2012

Re: "Rally Car inspired by" Countryman wins Dakar

Overdrive wrote:
isn't this also about component and engineering learning/testing, especially in something like Dakar which puts the endurance and durability of vehicles to severe test?

If that filtered back to the road going cars and was directly related to the Mini then I'd agree. When this appears to have very little to do the original manufacturer (unlike the VW entry) other than the rough shape of the body shell, then I can't see it being much more than marketing.

This car is to BMW / Mini what the Bowler was to Land Rover.

Peter Cavellini 19 January 2012

Re: Modified Countryman wins Dakar

Autocar wrote:
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 ... Read the full article

So, it could have been any body shell on it,so strictly speaking it wasn't really a Mini, i always thought it had to have the makers motor in it to call who ever made it?

Overdrive 19 January 2012

Re: "Rally Car inspired by" Countryman wins Dakar

TegTypeR wrote:
fellwalker wrote:

So it is in fact nothing remotely like a mini, except perhaps the name

+1

Purely a marketing exercise.

As it is an independent company building and running this car, I wonder how much money the got out of BMW for associating it with the Mini?

Aside from the marketing aspect (and aren't all factory sponsored race and competition cars, from F1 down, marketing exercises of varying degrees?), isn't this also about component and engineering learning/testing, especially in something like Dakar which puts the endurance and durability of vehicles to severe test?