Rumormill: Mini could be headed for WRC by adapting new crossover model

Discussion in 'MINI News and Articles' started by Nathan, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Short North
    +10,069 / 0 / -0
    Mini is being linked to a return to the World Rally Championship with its upcoming 4x4.

    The crossover, which is rumoured to be called the Countryman and due to go on sale next year, would be turned into a WRC contender for the 2011 season to coincide with the launch of a JCW model, according to British newspaper Motorsport News.

    The Mini Countryman JCW will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, which will fall in line with proposed powerplants for future WRC cars.

    The paper quotes a source within the WRC's organisers as saying there had been "a very positive response" to the series from Mini personnel.

    Mini rallying legend Paddy Hopkirk, who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S, continues to work for BMW as an ambassador.

    He told Motorsport News, “The level of engineering is amazing and very diligent – they’re a companythat doesn’t take shortcuts. Everything they do they do well. If there is a problem they will throw more money at it until they get it right. Without the [BMW Sauber] F1 project there could be more money to do that.

    “People love the Mini and actually love the new Mini as well. It would be terrific to see Mini in the WRC. I’ve got the highest respect for the company and it would be magnificent for the glory days of rallying to return and for Mini to be a part of that.

    “I’m kind of an ambassador for the company already. I drive a Mini on the road and I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t believe in the product. I love the car.â€

    A Mini UK spokesman told Autocar, "There are no official plans at this stage. It is a story that has been doing the rounds for some time, as we will have a four-wheel-drive car for the first time, but at the moment there isn't a plan.

    "If it does happen it would be late 2011 at the earliest, as JCW models traditionally follow on 12 months after the launch of the car."
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    Maryland, USA
    +3,166 / 0 / -0
    I'll believe it if/when I see it. Seems to me the best thing about this is IF (and that's a big IF) they're actually thinking about this as a real possibility while they're still working on (or at least fine tuning) the design, it could have an excellent impact on the functional character of the production version(s).
  3. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
    Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Bend, OR USA
    +2,678 / 1 / -0
    While the rules never req'd a manufacturer to build an awd version of the car campaigned, I see where this could be considered. Wonder if they thought about it before the rules changed.
  4. Ofioliti

    Ofioliti New Member

    May 9, 2009
    ... always curious
    +35 / 0 / -0
    I hope it happens! WRC is my favorite motorsport and it would be great to see MINI in it.

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