MINI All4 Racing to Compete in 2011 Rally Dakar
The MINI All4 Racing project will be entered by X-Raid Team and was developed through approximately 90 days. It was X-raid team director Sven Quandt who first came up with the idea of developing a cross-country rally spec MINI racer, something that he began discussing with automotive engineering and manufacturing company Magna Steyr and BMW ever since 2009.
Having secured the green light from both companies this year (BMW agreed to the project in June, while Magna Steyr did the same in September), the MINI Design team and Magna started to build the car in November. The MINI All4 Racing is yet to be tested, its first miles being scheduled for next week, between December 13-14.
“This is a major development in cross-country rallying and something of which we are very excited,” admitted Quandt, according to a press release. “There has been a very short time between the decision to go ahead and the roll out for the next Dakar, but we are confident that the new MINI All4 Racing will be competitive out of the ‘box.”
The Dakar-spec MINI car features the same variable twin-turbo diesel engine that is fitted to the 2011-specification BMW X3 CC (official X-Raid Dakar Rally car for 2011), delivering 315 HP and 710 Nm of torque. Additionally, the MINI racer benefits from larger air intakes, a one-piece bonnet and a revised and improved ventilation system using a front air intake and a roof intake.
According to the press release from X-Raid, the MINI All4 Racing car is “10 cm shorter than the BMW X3 CC, about 3 cm lower than its predecessor and has a 10 cm reduced rear overhang when compared to the BMW.”
“Magna Steyr under the project lead of Hermann Pecnik has been responsible for concept design, the technical drawings and calculations, as well as the production data and compliance with stringent FIA regulations governing cross-country motor sport. The frame and chassis components were designed by Buren-based Heggemann Autosport GmbH and Faster worked on the complete carbon-kevlar body and provided Magna-Steyr with assistance on the construction of the MINI,” added the release.
After the test next week, the car will be flied to South America for the latest preparations and scrutineering process in Buenos Aires. The 2011 Dakar Rally will he hosted by Argentina and Chile for the 3rd year running, and will kick off on January 1st. The event will finish in Buenos Aires on January 16th.