Covers come off new Countryman WRC car; Kris Meeke confirmed to drive for British squad
30 September 2010

Mini has confirmed its return to top-line rallying by officially unveiling a preview of its Countryman WRC at the Paris motor show - and naming Briton Kris Meeke as one of its drivers.

Developed by Prodrive, the Banbury-based operation previously responsible for Subaru’s world rallying success, the Countryman WRC is built to rallying’s new 2011 regs.

See the official pics of the new Mini Countryman WRC car - plus pics from the Paris motor show

These downsize the engines to 1.6-litre turbocharged units (the Mini’s is built by BMW Motorsport in Munich), and introduce technical restrictions designed to cut the costs for both manufacturers and privateers.

Mini will contest six of the 13 rounds in the 2011 WRC season, before committing to a full campaign in 2012. Prodrive will also make customer cars available to private teams; in total the firm expects to build 100 Mini WRCs over the next four years.

Read more on the new Citroen DS3 WRC carRead more on the new Ford Fiesta WRC car

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Northern Irishman Meeke joins Mini’s campaign after a frustrating defence of his Intercontinental Rally Challenge title with Peugeot. He’s long been regarded as one of the brightest young stars in the sport and has also conducted testing for Citroen (Xsara WRC and C4 WRC) in recent years.

Mini is likely to have at least one other regular driver; double world champion Marcus Gronholm is understood to be considering an offer from the team.

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Comments
7

30 September 2010

Kris Meeke is a bit of a steel for MINI, Well done

30 September 2010

OMG is it ugly!

But frankly, if you forget about the whole 'original Mini heritage' nonsense, viewed objectively, this car is plain horrendous! It makes Ssang Yong Rosius sublimely elegant by comparison.

30 September 2010

Ugliest WRC ever.

Competance executes, character inspires

30 September 2010

On a more productive note, its centre of gravity must by higher than other more sporty rally cars, so it must therefore be slower than if they had put the marketing men aside and used a normal low mini?

DS3 looks so much better....

Competance executes, character inspires

30 September 2010

That is the first WRC car that looks worse than the donor car, and that takes some effort.

30 September 2010

Thats exactly what i think :) who goes rallying with SUV in the first place.. They should add "lowride" option in the countryman's additional spec. list

30 September 2010

In my head that looks good (I've blocked out the roof scoop, driving lamps and huge spoiler)

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