Rally-Ready MINI Countryman Coming from Prodrive
Their involvement with the World Rally Championship dates back all the way to 1990, so they are the perfect people to turn a very ‘vanilla’ car into a hot chilly sauce. Unfortunately, their exploits in the sport came to an end when partners Subaru withdrew at the end of the 2008 season, but they son turned that frown upside down with a MINI Countryman limited program that kicked of this year and will come into full swing in the 2012 season.
Now, Dave Richards, the head honcho at Prodrive, has told Autocar that a road-going version of the car is also in the cards. This will offer a more muscular body, thanks to a full bodykit and some new alloys.
The magic under the bonnet has taken the 1.6-liter petrol engine of the standard Cooper S and turned the ‘volume’ all the way up to 230 horsepower, with help from a new Miltek exhaust and some clever remapping. But British ECU specialists Superchips are also involved, and they are hoping to get even more out of the engine by using a bigger turbo.
We just hope they carry the changes over to the three-door version of the vehicle, the upcoming Paceman.
“Mini obviously has the Cooper and John Cooper Works brands and it will want to work out ways of harnessing this campaign, its rally heritage and those giant-killing acts of the 1960s through its road cars,” said Richards.