• 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

    2019 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy
  • Unique exterior between the Rally and the Buggy
  • Rally takes its inspiration from the Mini Countryman
  • Carbon fiber and kevlar body panels to cut weight
  • Aerodynamically optimized package
  • Big fenders to fit big suspension
  • Tough underbody protection
  • Similar drivetrain and powertrain between the Buggy and Rally
  • Turbocharged diesel powerplant
  • 340 horsepower, 590 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed transmission
  • Xtrac differential
  • 118 mph top speed
  • Tubular steel frames
  • Up to 11 inches of suspension travel
  • Roughly 4,000-pound curb weight for the Rally
  • Roughly 3,750-pound curb weight for the Buggy
  • Two spares for the Buggy, three for the Rally
  • Obsessive weight reduction – down to the screws used

A two-pronged attack from the Dakar champs

As is tradition, the world of motor sport is looking to kick off 2018 with the infamous Dakar Rally, one of the most brutal, unforgiving, car-breaking, will-sapping events ever conceived. The Dakar heads into its 40th running this year, and its tenth stint in South America after the move across the Atlantic in 2009, and once again, competitors will do battle over a variety of terrain, from sand, to tarmac, to boulder fields, to 13,000-foot mountain passes. With so much tough terrain and such insane distances to cover, simply completing the Dakar is considered a major accomplishment. However, X-raid and Mini aren’t looking to just reach the finish line - they wanna win. Thus far, the collaborative effort has yielded four consecutive victories between 2012 and 2015, with the most recent outing in 2017 snagging sixth overall thanks to the efforts of Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova. Now, X-raid and Mini are gearing up for a fresh approach that includes the brand-new RWD Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Created to take advantage of certain regulations to bolster 2WD competition, the Buggy will race alongside the more traditional Countryman-based 4WD Mini John Cooper Works Rally for a two-pronged approach to tackling the Dakar.

Fittingly, both vehicles were presented in Paris prior to their competition debut. The Buggy is a particularly exciting new venture for the Germany-based X-raid, which for the past 15 years has focused primarily on 4WD competition vehicles. However, with an experienced roster of drivers ready to take the controls, plus the proven Mini Rally to bolster the ranks, the team is feeling good about its chances. Read on for details on what makes these machines tick.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Rally.

  • 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    Sadev six-speed
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    340 @ 3250
  • Torque @ RPM:
    590 @ 1850
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    118 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
RALLYE DU MAROC 2017

Wracamy jeszcze do naszego ostatniego startu cross-country w sezonie 2017! Podsumowanie Rallye du Maroc :)

Posted by Kuba Przygoński on Monday, October 23, 2017

Exterior

  • Unique exterior between the Rally and the Buggy
  • Rally takes its inspiration from the Mini Countryman
  • Carbon fiber and kevlar body panels to cut weight
  • Aerodynamically optimized package
  • Big fenders to fit big suspension
  • Tough underbody protection
2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 747072
Six-speed transmission
The bespoke exterior looks tough and ready for competition, with ultra-high fenders, a plethora of intakes and scoops, and loads of underbody protection as well

While both the Countryman-based Mini Rally and the 2WD Mini Buggy employ body panels constructed from carbon fiber reinforced plastic and kevlar (to help save weight), the Buggy is unique in its aesthetic. The bespoke exterior looks tough and ready for competition, with ultra-high fenders, a plethora of intakes and scoops, and loads of underbody protection as well. Several outside sources assisted in the creation of the Buggy’s exterior, all of which collaborated to make sure it was “aerodynamically optimized” and could easily cut through the atmosphere at speed. “The aero package was of major importance and was enhanced together with KLK in many simulations,” said X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. “The final looks of the vehicle were created in cooperation with Mini Design.

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior
- image 747064
Roughly 4,000-pound curb weight for the Rally

Meanwhile, the Countryman-based 4WD Mini Rally looks a little closer to something you might buy in a showroom, albeit with innumerable enhancements under (and over) the skin. While the overall shape of the Mini Rally is similar to the street-friendly sub-compact crossover, it too gets impossibly flared fenders, tons of extra ground clearance, an extra intake on the roof, tough underbody protection, and a few sponsorship stickers as well.

Cute these Minis are not.

Finally, there are 17-inch diameter wheels on the Buggy and 16-inch wheels on the Countryman-based Rally.

Exterior Dimensions

Mini John Cooper Works Buggy Mini John Cooper Works Rally
Length 4,332 mm (170.6 inches) 4,350 mm (171.3 inches)
Width 2,200 mm (86.6 inches) 1,999 mm (78.7 inches)
Height 1,935 mm (76.2 inches) 2,000 mm (78.7 inches)
Wheelbase 3,100 mm (122 inches) 2,900 mm (114.2 inches)
Track Width 1,855 mm (73 inches) 1,736 mm (68.3 inches)

Interior

  • Stripped down and business like
  • Lots of vents to keep it cool
  • Digital instrumentation
  • Loads of tools and spares in case something breaks
2015 MINI ALL4 Racing Interior
- image 577252

Note: Mini All4 Racing pictured here.

While we didn’t get a full rundown on the interior spec for these machines, there are a few things to mention right off the bat. First off, both will get utterly stripped-down cockpits, with bucket racing seats and multi-point racing harnesses to keep driver and co-pilot in place while rocketing through the scenery. Various vents and intakes will help to keep ’em cool while on the move, including via small sliding ports in the lexan windows. Digital instrumentation will help the pilots keep tabs on the vitals.

If something does happen to go boom (and considering this is the Dakar, that’s definitely a distinct possibility), the racers come equipped with a plethora of tools and spare parts. If called upon, the pilots can set up a little impromptu workshop out in the field to quickly get them back up and running.

Drivetrain

  • Similar drivetrain and powertrain between the Buggy and Rally
  • Turbocharged diesel powerplant
  • 340 horsepower, 590 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed transmission
  • Xtrac differential
  • 118 mph top speed
2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 747075
340 horsepower, 590 pound-feet of torque
Developed with input from BMW Steyr, both oil burners produce peak output figures of 340 horsepower at 3,250 rpm and 800 Nm (590 pound-feet) of torque at 1,850 rpm

The beating heart for both the Buggy and the Mini Rally is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel powerplant. Developed with input from BMW Steyr, both oil burners produce peak output figures of 340 horsepower at 3,250 rpm and 800 Nm (590 pound-feet) of torque at 1,850 rpm. Regulations dictate that the engines must suck the atmosphere through a 38 mm (1.5-inch) restrictor, otherwise you can bet these lumps would be making a helluva lot more power. Top speed is clocked at 190 km/h (118 mph), which might not seem very high at first glance. That is, until you realize the sort of terrain its over.

Top speed is clocked at 118 mph, which might not seem very high at first glance. That is, until you realize the sort of terrain its over.

Although the engine utilizes BMW-bred turbocharging technology, the transmission and drivetrain are both newly developed for the racing application. And even with the Buggy using RWD and the Mini Rally using 4WD, the drivetrains for both are quite similar in terms of which performance company makes which components. Both racers utilize a six-speed gearbox from Sadev, a high-performance clutch from AP Racing, and a differential from Xtrac. Both also have a 325-liter (85.9-gallon) fuel capacity.

Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Engine And Performance Specs

Engine turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel
Drive Type RWD (Buggy), 4WD (Rally)
Horsepower 340 HP @ 3,250 RPM
Torque 590 LB-FT @ 1,850 RPM
Transmission Sadev six-speed
Clutch AP Racing
Differential Xtrac
Top Speed 118 mph

Chassis And Handling

  • Tubular steel frames
  • Up to 11 inches of suspension travel
  • Roughly 4,000-pound curb weight for the Rally
  • Roughly 3,750-pound curb weight for the Buggy
  • Two spares for the Buggy, three for the Rally
  • Obsessive weight reduction – down to the screws used
2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior
- image 747080
Unique exterior between the Rally and the Buggy
Under those composite body panels, you'll find the Buggy and Mini Rally get a specially designed tubular steel frame

Under those composite body panels, you’ll find the Buggy and Mini Rally get a specially designed tubular steel frame. Basically, these are custom-built racers with almost nothing in common with Mini’s production line, but hey – this is the Dakar. Any and all advantages you can get are well worth the investment.

This time around, the Mini John Cooper Works Rally gets a refresh for its chassis, offering up more suspension travel and further weight reduction compared to the outgoing iteration. The suspension travel was increased from 250 mm (9.8 inches) to 280 mm (11 inches), making for a massive amount of leeway when bashing through harsh terrain. Meanwhile, the Mini Rally’s weight was reduced from 1,952 kg (4,303 pounds) to 1,850 kg (4,079 pounds), a significant savings in the world of top-shelf motorsport competition.

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior
- image 747065
Basically, these are custom-built racers with almost nothing in common with Mini's production line, but hey – this is the Dakar.

“We succeeded in achieving the new minimum weight,” said Team Manager Quandt. “We looked at absolutely every component. As a result, the thickness of the carbon fiber body and the weight of the frame were reduced. We also checked all screws what [sic] helped us to save another three to four kilograms. This demonstrates that reducing the car’s weight really was an in-depth effort.”

All those weight saving efforts benefited the Buggy as well, and thanks to the lack of extra driven wheels, the rear-wheeler weighs just 1,700 kg (3,748 pounds) when empty. Of course, that 150-kg weight loss is the trade off for reducing traction by half.

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 747072
Six-speed transmission
The rear-wheeler Buggy weighs just 3,748 pounds when empty, a trade off for half the traction.

To haul down the Buggy, the RWD machine gets Brembo brake discs measured at 355 mm (14 inches) by 32 mm (1.3 inches). There are also two spare wheels in case of punctures, with the rubber coming from BF Goodrich and measuring in at 37 inches tall and 12.5 inches wide.

Meanwhile, the Works Rally gets AP disc brakes measured at 320 mm (12.6 inches) by 32 mm (1.3 inches), with ventilated air cooling in front and water-chilled cooling in the rear. To stave off the DNFs, the Rally gets three spare wheels, with BF Goodrich once again supplying the rubber, this time measuring in at 245/80.

Competition

Peugeot 2008 DKR Maxi

2016 Peugeot 2008 DKR16 High Resolution Exterior
- image 647549

Like the Mini, the Peugeot 2008 is based on a street machine, and also like the Mini, this Dakar champion has very little in common with the production variant. Without a doubt, Peugeot is Mini’s chief rival, having lost the last two Dakars to the French automaker. This year, the Peugeot Total team is going for its third consecutive win, and the 2008 DKR is looking as mean as it’s ever been. And with Peugeot boasting a roster that includes rally legends like Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, Mini definitely has its work cut out for it.

Read our full review on the Peugeot 2008 DKR Maxi.

Conclusion

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 747069
Two spares for the Buggy, three for the Rally
Despite its fresh-start beginnings, the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy has performed quite well in testing thus far.

While the Mini Rally is certainly impressive, it’s the Buggy that really piques our interest. While the larger SUV has seen the field of battle, the Buggy is still green, as construction only got underway this past February. That’s not a lot of time to develop a world-beating racer, but the X-raid team poured a lot into the project in such a short period.

“This has been the biggest project in our company’s history so far and we have worked extremely hard at it,” said X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. In total, more than 50 engineers from X-raid contributed to its creation, as did several other company partners, such as BMW Motorsport, Magna Steyr, Heggemann, CP Autosport, and Faster. “It was the very first buggy designed and built by us but we could benefit from our massive cross-country experience.”

Despite its fresh-start beginnings, the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy has performed quite well in testing thus far, with the team wringing it out on a variety of terrain, conducting sessions in locales like Hungary and Morocco. “During this time the Buggy never had to stop once due to a technical problem, which is really quite remarkable,” said Team Manager Quandt. “Despite all the euphoria, we must definitely not forget the Mini John Cooper Works Rally. There are tracks and types of terrain where an all-wheel drive has advantages. What is more, our car is extremely reliable.”

This year, the Mini X-Raid Dakar effort includes no less than seven cars and a corresponding roster of drivers and co-drivers. There will be three new Mini John Cooper Works Buggies, with drivers including Mikko Hirvonen from Finland, Bryce Menzies from the U.S., and Yazeed Al-Rajhi from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, taking the helm of the remaining four Mini John Cooper Works Rally will be Argentina’s Orlando Terranova, Poland’s Jakub Przygonski, Spain’s Joan “Nani” Roma, and Chile’s Boris Garafulic.

This year, the Mini X-Raid Dakar effort includes no less than seven cars and a corresponding roster of drivers and co-drivers.

“It’s our goal to make it onto the podium,” said Quandt. “No matter if the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy or the Mini John Cooper Works Rally makes it. There are many variables we can’t control, such as the routing, the weather and – of course – a little dose of luck, which is something you definitely need if you want to succeed in the Dakar.”

“With these two cars we have the most powerful Mini family that ever raced at the Dakar Rally,” said Mini Senior Vice President Sebastian Mackensen.

However – will it be enough to stop Peugeot from grabbing a third consecutive win?

The opening stage of the Dakar is set to take place on January 6th in Lima, Peru, with the final stage set for completion by January 20th in Cordoba, Argentina.

  • Leave it
    • * Peugeot is on a roll
    • * Luck plays a major role in success at the Dakar
    • * Will the advantages of RWD outweigh the drawbacks?

References

Mini Countryman

2017 Mini Countryman High Resolution Exterior
- image 693012

Read our full review on the 2017 Mini Countryman.

2018 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 702705

Read our full review on the 2018 Mini Countryman JCW.

2015 MINI ALL4 Racing High Resolution Exterior
- image 577242

Read our full review on the 2015 Mini ALL4 Racing.

Press release

MINI and the X-raid Team have launched into the final preparation phase for the Dakar Rally 2018 with the presentation of their current racing cars. For the first time MINI and X-raid will face the challenges of the most demanding long-distance rally in the world using two different types of drive. In addition to the further advanced version of the all-wheel drive MINI John Cooper Works Rally, which, at its debut appearance, came in sixth overall at the 2017 Dakar Rally, the rear-wheel drive MINI John Cooper Works Buggy will head into the opener stage on 6 January 2018 in the Peruvian capital of Lima.

More determined than ever before, MINI and X-raid are aiming to continue their joint success story which brought them four consecutive overall victories from 2012 to 2015. “With these two cars we have the most powerful MINI family that ever raced at the Dakar Rally”, said Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President of MINI, at the presentation in Paris.

The reason why a second vehicle concept was developed lies in the specifics of the Dakar Rally rules, which, in their current form, give two-wheel driven cars certain advantages. X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt gave the go-ahead for building the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in February 2017. “This has been the biggest project in our company’s history so far and we have worked extremely hard at it”, he said at the vehicle presentation.

The MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is powered by a 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder diesel engine generating and output of 250 kW/340 hp and a maximum torque of 800 Nm. The transmission and drivetrain as well as the engine’s turbocharging technology, which is based on the BMW TwinPower Turbo, have been completely newly conceived. The MINI John Cooper Works Rally uses the same engine. The specially designed tubular steel frame provides maximum protection for driver and passenger in extreme situations. A specifically designed body made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and Kevlar is stretched over the frame. The authentic buggy-look exterior has been designed in close cooperation with MINI Design and aerodynamically optimised.

The new MINI John Cooper Works Buggy has already undergone an intensive test programme over the past months which took it over different types of rally terrain for example in Hungary and Morocco. “During this time the buggy never had to stop once due to a technical problem, which is really quite remarkable”, reported Team Manager Sven Quandt. “Despite all the euphoria, we must definitely not forget the MINI John Cooper Works Rally”, Quandt added. “There are tracks and types of terrain where an all-wheel drive has advantages. What is more, our car is extremely reliable.” The targeted advancements for the MINI John Cooper Works Rally, which Argentinian Orlando Terranove raced to sixth place in the overall rankings of the 2017 Dakar Rally, includes a new chassis construction featuring greater suspension travel and weight reductions among other things.

The MINI and X-raid range for the Dakar Rally 2018 will comprise seven cars and an experienced team of drivers and co-pilots. The three MINI John Cooper Works Buggies will be piloted by Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Bryce Menzies (USA) and Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA). The driver seats in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally will be occupied by Orlando Terranova (ARG), Jakub Przygonski (POL), Joan “Nani” Roma (ESP) and Boris Garafulic (CHI).

With this driver line-up and the crew of experienced organisers and technical and medical specialists, the X-raid Team will be perfectly equipped for the endurance ordeal awaiting man and machine at the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally. The anniversary edition of the long-distance rally, which is taking place in South America for the tenth time, will take the rally participants from Peru to Argentina via Bolivia. The 2018 Dakar Rally incorporates extended desert stages as well as rock and boulder fields and asphalt tracks which take the cars up to an altitude of 4000 meters in the Andes. The final stage will be completed on 20 January 2018 in Córdoba, Argentina.

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