Mini John Cooper Works Buggy targets Dakar Rally win with rear-drive layout

Mini John Cooper Works Buggy targets Dakar Rally win with rear-drive layout”

Alongside the John Cooper Works Rally, a conventional all-wheel drive rally monster, Mini and its Dakar Rally racing partner, X-raid, is throwing the John Cooper Works Buggy into the mix.

These technical advantages, as well as the weight saving possible with a two-wheel-drive auto, have convinced Mini to develop the new Buggy with the intention of winning the Dakar Rally, which takes place between the 6 and 20 January and tasks entrants with racing from Peru to Argentina. Power comes from a 3.9-litre inline-six diesel engine, making use of BMW TwinPower turbocharging tech to deliver 250kW of power and 800Nm of torque. Overall, Mini and X-raid won four consecutive victories from 2012 to 2015. The Rally finished sixth in the overall rankings of the 2017 Dakar Rally.

Work has also been done on the Mini John Cooper Works Rally, with weight reduction and suspension changes expected to provide gains of three seconds per kilometer. A specifically designed body made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and Kevlar is stretched over the frame. During its test runs in the challenging terrains of Morocco and Hungary, the Buggy "never had to stop once due to a technical problem", said Sven Quandt, X-raid team manager. "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's more, our auto is extremely reliable".

Mini John Cooper Works Buggy targets Dakar Rally win with rear-drive layout

MINI will field seven vehicles to the upcoming Dakar season, with three of the JCW Buggies being driven by Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies and Yazeed Al-Rajhi. With its driver line-up and the crew of organisers and technical and medical specialists, the X-raid Team is confident to be perfectly equipped for the endurance race.

Mini has unveiled the cars it will be taking to the 2018 Dakar Rally, showcasing two very different approaches to desert-destroying performance. The final stage will be completed on 20 January in Cordoba, Argentina.

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