The British automaker has recently introduced the all-new Mini John Cooper Works Rally, the model that might be willing to take the Dakar crown away from France’s Peugeot.
Mini dominated for four years the Dakar rally – but lost in January this year to Peugeot. Now the company is back with a vengeance, because alongside its partner X-Raid has developed an all-new rally raid machine – the Mini John Cooper Works Rally. As we can clearly see, it shares some traits with the second generation, equally all-new Mini Countryman, which just premiered in front of the public in the United States during the Los Angeles Auto Show. The carbon Kevlar bodywork is very close to the Countryman and has more or less about the same size. Of course, the relationship between the Mini JCW Rally and the Countryman start and end at the styling level.
This is because the former has an aerospace-grade, tubular steel chassis packing up front a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo BMW diesel engine, delivering 340 horsepower (254 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton meters) of torque – as per the regulation’s 38 millimeter (1.5 inch) restrictor plate. Then the power is sent through a six-speed sequential transmission to the all-wheel drive. The latter is a bit surprising – Peugeot managed to win with 2WD and now Toyota is following them for 2017, as the two-wheel drive cars are allowed by the regulation to be lighter, more powerful and with bigger suspension travel.