Dakar know-how brought straight to your daily driver

LISTEN 02:23

Mini owners aren’t exactly off-road nuts, not even when their cars come fitted with Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive. That, however, might change with a little input from Dakar Rally specialist X-raid.

The team behind Mini’s resounding victories at Dakar is now using its rally and motorsport expertise to beef up your Countryman. You know, in case grocery-getting becomes boring.

How about some Dakar flavor for your weekend adventures?

2020 Mini Countryman X-raid Exterior
- image 944034

That’s what X-raid promises to deliver should you trust them with your Countryman. And why shouldn’t you? X-raid’s racing pedigree speaks for itself through builds such as the Mini ALL4 Racing and the John Cooper Works Buggy.

It all starts with a good ol’ raised ground clearance. X-raid can take your Countryman 40 millimeters (1.6 inches) higher off the ground by installing a body lift kit, off-road rims, and rally-style Cooper Discoverer AT3 tires that feature higher flanks to offer better protection when travelling over rocky surfaces.

Mini says that “the fording depth and the ramp angle are significantly optimized” without actually offering any sort of figures to support the claim.

2020 Mini Countryman X-raid Exterior
- image 944038

On the visual side, X-raid can add a pair of LED lights for better vision in the dark on rough terrain as well as a lightweight aluminum roof rack. Finishing touches come dressed as Piano Black bits and bobs spiced up with orange X-raid elements.

There’s no word on pricing - you’ll have to get in touch with X-raid for that - but we’re told that you can opt for the whole package or just individual elements for your Countryman.

Final word

2020 Mini Countryman X-raid Exterior
- image 944024

We figure that X-raid can apply its treatment to any Countryman variant, but the one shown in the pictures is the Cooper S Countryman. It packs a 2-liter, gasoline-fed, four-cylinder turbo mill good for 189 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 207 pound-feet of twist at 1350 rpm. That’s enough for a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. If you opt for the ALL4 AWD, then the sprint time drops to seven seconds flat and you also gain more off-roading prowess that goes hand in hand with X-raid’s philosophy.

2020 Mini Countryman X-raid specifications
Engine 2-liter four-cylinder turbo
Horsepower 189 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Torque 207 LB-FT @ 1,350 RPM
0 to 60 mph 7.2 seconds
Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
About the author

Munich. The MINI Countryman arouses the desire for adventure. The biggest model of the British premium brand has been designed with five doors and an interior compartment that can be used in a variety of different ways. This automobile is a true all-round talent and not simply in everyday traffic. Its robust vehicle concept, powerful engines and the optional ALL4 all-wheel drive ensure limitless driving fun even away from paved carriageways. And that’s not all. As a support vehicle in the entourage of the X-raid Team – currently the incumbent overall winner of the Dakar Rally – the MINI Countryman has already put in an impressive performance under extreme conditions a number of times, displaying dynamic performance and versatility. MINI fans are now also able to benefit from the experience of the successful offroad specialists. Chassis modifications derived directly from rally sport transform the five-door series vehicle into a MINI Countryman Powered by X-raid.

A significant increase in ground clearance, particularly resilient wheel rims and tyres with higher flanks are prominent features of the upgrade for driving on challenging terrain that is now offered by the X-raid Team in Trebur, Hesse. These features were specially developed for the MINI Countryman and for outings on offroad terrain.

MINI, the X-raid Team and the Dakar Rally – for a decade, this triad has represented exceptional success in motor sport. From 2012 to 2015, the X-raid Team achieved overall victory for MINI four times in succession in the editions of the classic rally held in South America. An additional overall success followed in 2020. This time the marathon rally covered thousands of kilometres through the sands of Saudi Arabia. The MINI Countryman Powered by X-raid is a truly authentic vehicle, epitomising not simply the flair of five victories in the Dakar Rally but also the technology that contributed to these triumphs.

The X-raid Team is familiar both with the features of the MINI Countryman that are specific to the model and with the tough conditions besetting competitors and materials alike in endurance rallies played out on desert sand, rough terrain, mud and stony ground. The team’s know-how flows not only into the development and creation of winners in the Dakar Rally like the MINI ALL4 Racing and the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy but also into continuously optimised preparation of the service vehicles. This involved extensive modifications to the chassis and bodywork to make the MINI Countryman a particularly reliable support vehicle over race stages often extending along hundreds of kilometres.

Increased ground clearance and measures to avoid flat tyres enabled the service vehicles of the X-raid Team to travel without mishap along tracks mined with potholes and strewn with sharp-edged rocks that are typical of the Andean highlands between Argentina and Chile, and on the rough terrain of the Saudi Arabian desert. Naturally, this means that the MINI Countryman Powered by X-raid is now well equipped for individual challenges on offroad terrain. Increasing the ride height of the vehicle and the large format for wheel rims and tyres raise the ground clearance for the MINI Countryman overall by up to 40 millimetres. As a result, the fording depth and the ramp angle are significantly optimised.

The wheels developed specially for rallying provide effective protection against tyre damage. A robust rim ring ensures that it is not necessary to change the entire wheel if damage is sustained on rocky ground. It also creates a powerful visual impact and masks the high tyre flanks.

The full scope of the upgrade, prices and availabilities can be found at offroad@x-raid.

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Press release

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