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2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

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.

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2015 MINI ALL4 Racing

2015 MINI ALL4 Racing

A total of eight MINI ALL4 Racing cars will compete in one of the longest and most challenging off-road events in the world: the Dakar Rally.

Originally hosted in 1979, the annual event is classified as a “rally raid” — that is, a long distance, cross-country marathon run held over the course of several days. The Dakar is composed of hundreds of racers in a variety of classes wielding motorcycles, quads, trucks, and cars. It’s a grueling, two-week journey over thousands of miles of rough terrain; an epic test of both mechanical fortitude and human will. Simply finishing the event is a monumental accomplishment.

The original event was a race between Paris, France, and Dakar, Senegal, but organizers moved to South America in 2009 citing security concerns. However, the new location is no less punishing, as the upcoming rally will cover some 9,000 kilometers of dunes, mud, sand, rocks, gravel, and extreme altitudes across Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia.

If you think this sounds like the wrong event for a MINI, you’re incorrect. High-performance versions of the plucky vehicle have a streak going with three consecutive victories between 2012 and 2014. For the 2015 event taking place in early January, a total of eight MINI entrants will attempt to maintain the championship.

“Even with the most outstanding preparation, the Dakar remains a tremendous adventure with unforeseeable challenges and highly demanding tasks that all participants will have to master in order to succeed,” said Jochen Goller, Senior Vice President at MINI, in a press release. “With this in mind, we are more than pleased to enter the 2015 Dakar Rally with a professional, experienced team in our strategic partners of the X-raid Team, a highly competitive driver line-up and a proven winner in the Mini ALL4 Racing.”

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 MINI ALL4 Racing.

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2013 Mini "No Limit" Pikes Peak

2013 Mini "No Limit" Pikes Peak

If Mini has no official entry for the 2013 Pikes Peak it does not mean there won’t be any Mini at the famous race. French driver Jean-Philippe Dayraut will enter the race in a Mini "No Limit" Pikes Peak race car.

Last year he completed the race in the Dacia Duster and it looks like this year it decided to give it another try. The car he will use this year it is pretty much identical to the model used last year, but for the 2013 race he opted for a Mini skin.

When compared to the model raced last year, the new Mini "No Limit" received a series of improvements. Dayraut and his team worked on making the car about 176 pounds lights, while the engine delivers a total of 900 horsepower.

The 2013 Pikes Peak is still more than one month away and we are hopping to get full details on this car until then.

Click past the jump for two presentation video of the car.

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2012 Mini Countryman X-raid Dakar Edition

2012 Mini Countryman X-raid Dakar Edition

X-raid Team’s Mini ALL4 Racing cars are preparing to defend their crown at the upcoming Dakar Rally set to begin on January 5, 2013. However, these are not the cars set to enter the competition, but the cars that will assist the team through the 5,000 miles of desert through Peru, Argentina and Chile.

These very special Countryman have been equipped with a full range of original Mini Accessories, including: 18-inch light-alloy wheels with run-flat tires, mud flaps for the front and rear wheel arches, auxiliary headlights, and all-weather floor mats plus a protective load compartment cover made from hard-wearing PVC.

They will feature matte black paint combined with red roofs and racing stripes, and, of course, those Monster Energy logos. The black paint has been combined with silver-colored add-on parts for the front and rear apron, and side skirts.

Each car will also feature an off-road package that will help it deliver the best driving experience on any kind of road, be it gravel, desert tracks or mountain passes.

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2012 MINI Cooper B-Spec Racer

2012 MINI Cooper B-Spec Racer

Every automaker that has small car on their line-up has taken to modifying these models for B-Spec competition. We saw a couple of them introduced at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show - the Kia Rio and the Toyota Yaris come to mind - and now, it appears that one more will be making its debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
MINI USA, together with MINI of Charleston in South Carolina, have announced that a MINI Cooper Hardtop will formally enter B-Spec competition for the 2012 season.

"B-Spec racing is a great fit for MINI because the car is developed with racing heritage in mind and the races are run with vehicles very similar to those already sitting in the driveway,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President – MINI USA.

As race-spec models, the Cooper B-Spec will be completely overhauled to adhere to the standards and regulations of the B-Spec class. One of the most important modifications on the Cooper will be made on the interior, where almost all of the accessories and features of the road-going car will be stripped out and replaced by racing and safety equipment. Among the items that will be fitted into the Cooper B-Spec racer include a new Kirkey Intermediate Road Racing Seat, a Kirk Racing Roll Cage, Schroth Hybrid III Harnesses, Cage Nets, and Window Net.

As far as the engine is concerned, the Cooper B-Spec Racer will retain the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine of the road car, together with the 121-horsepower and 114 lb/ft of torque numbers it comes with. Moreover, the suspension set-up of the race car will feature KW V1 Coilover Struts and Shocks/ Vorshlag front camber plates while the wheel/tire set-up will comprise of a new set of 15" Kosei K1 aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in Hoosier SM6 tires.

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2011 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance

2011 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance

How long has it been since MINI first unveiled the John Cooper Works Coupe? Yeah, it was only a few days ago, but that hasn’t stopped the German automaker from making a race-spec version of their latest pride and joy to compete at the "SP 3T" class of the 2011 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

So, ladies and gentlemen, we’re presenting the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance Racer. Take a good look at it in all its shiny and sparkling glory because there’s a good chance that it’s going to be a little worse for wear after it attempts to run for 24 hours straight together with some of the fastest racers on the planet.

Apparently, MINI has taken itself to task in entering the 24-Hour race at Nurburgring in an attempt to take the next step in auto racing after years of plying its craft in the MINI Challenge sprint race. You might also recall that MINI is also entering the World Rally Championship this year with their sand and dust challenger, the Countryman WRC.

Something tells us that this won’t be the last time we’ll see MINI enter a completely new racing event that’s different from what they’re used to, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. For now, we’re here to talk about their Nurburgring steed, the JCW Coupe Endurance.

More details on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance after the jump.

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2012 Mini Countryman WRC

2012 Mini Countryman WRC

Mini has unveiled today at the Paris Auto Show their WRC model for the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship. However, in 2011 the new Mini WRC will only compete in six of 13 scheduled rounds, with only 2012 being a full season for them. The MINI WRC will be powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder Di turbo-charged engine that was derived from from Mini’s production models and improved upon by BMW Motorsport. The engine is then mated to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox. Likewise, because of its rallying objectives, the interior of the Countryman WRC has been fitted with a Prodrive-sourced roll cage.

Serving as the team’s principal will be Prodrive chief and ex rally driver David Richards. Together, he and Dirk Hollweg, Mini’s Motorsport head and David Wilcock, the team’s technical director, will form the team’s, shall we say, holy trinity.

Taking the reins for the team will be Kris Meeke and his co-pilot Paul Nagle, a team that took the Intercontinental Rally Challenge title back in 2009. The two will be joined in the team by Daniel Sordo and Carlos del Barrio.

"The Paris Motor Show is the perfect stage, on which to launch our MINI WRC,” says Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing. “The response to our announcement that MINI will return to the world of rallying next year was very positive. The FIA World Rally Championship is the pinnacle of rallying, making it the ideal platform for demonstrating the competitive spirit of our brand. The development of the car isrunning on schedule, and the preparations for the world championship are in full swing. The MINI Countryman production model provided the ideal basis for our new world championship challenger."

Press release after the jump.

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2007 MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS CHALLENGE

2007 MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS CHALLENGE

The new MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE will be making its first appearance at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, where the public will be able to gain a first impression of the new racing car which will be delivered to the participating teams in good time before the start of the next MINI CHALLENGE in spring 2008

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