Currently reading: Mini Countryman may be WRC car
Mini GTI will be based on same platform - and form basis of world rally attack

The Mini Countryman junior SUV is just one of three variants that will be based on this new Mini platform - and could also form the basis of a rally car for the WRC.

After the Countryman hits the showrooms next September, the next model to be launched is expected to be a lower-riding five-door Mini aimed at young families.

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This will be followed up by a hot version, which insiders describe as “a sort of Mini GTI”.

The standard-issue GTI will be good for at least 175bhp and will be tuned to offer a similar driving experience to the three-door Cooper models.

A front-wheel-drive version will be the mainstay model, but there’s no news yet on whether BMW will commission a ‘baby Quattro’ version with four-wheel drive.

There’s a good chance, however, that the Countryman GTI will also be available with a BMW-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine producing as much as 200bhp.

But the hot five-door family won’t stop there. It’s widely expected that BMW will enter the World Rally Championship with the high-performance Countryman.

Prodrive is said to be already working on turning the Mini into a WRC car. Confirmation of the deal is not expected until next March’s Geneva show.

BMW has expertly mined the Mini’s history since the brand was relaunched in 2001. But the Mini’s record in rallying is arguably the most evocative aspect of the brand’s history.

Giant-killing adventures, such as the factory-run Minis’ victory in the 1964 Monte Carlo rally against the huge Ford Falcon and Citroën DS, offer the sort of heritage other brands can only dream about.The arrival of the Citroen DS3 WRC, due in 2011, could once again pitch Mini and Citroën against each other in top-level motorsport.

Hilton Holloway

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230SL 16 December 2009

Re: Mini Countryman may be WRC car

Sorry about my lttle outburst, just looks so well, un mini.
beachland2 16 December 2009

Re: Mini Countryman may be WRC car

Apart from all the crap versions i welcome a WRC model. It wont be a diesel though, so if they do do a 200bhp diesel model it wont be the WRC version, that will be a 1.6 turbo petrol with a bit more than 200bhp.

WRC cars are 1.6 petrol turbo in the new FIA regulations.

Although i'm just presuming, BMW may do something stupid and promote diesel....But it would fly in the face of the direction of international motorsport, which is becoming diesel free thankfully.

230SL 16 December 2009

Re: Mini Countryman may be WRC car

s h i t l o l ! ! !