X-Raid enters Mini for Dakar

Mini will contest next year's Dakar with an All4 Racing developed and run by the Monster Energy X-Raid team

X-Raid enters Mini for Dakar

The car, which has been built in just 90 days, will be driven by Dakar expert Guerlain Chicherit. The project was first discussed in the summer of 2009, when X-Raid team director Sven Quandt began looking at the feasibility of the project.

Quandt then held initial discussions with automotive engineering and manufacturing company Magna Steyr and BMW to see whether the new model was a realistic replacement for the BMW X3 CC - which has earned the Trebur-based team three successive FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rally titles since 2008.

Construction of the new Mini All4 Racing cross-country rally car began in November and has continued into December. The car will be put through a first series of tests in France next week. It will then be transported by airfreight to South America for final preparations for scrutineering in Buenos Aires at the end of the month.

The Mini will be powered by a variable twin-turbo diesel engine that is fitted to the 2011-specification BMW X3 CC and built in Steyr, the same place as the Mini and BMW diesel engines are made. The power unit delivers in the region of 315hp and 710Nm of torque. This is an increase compared to the output of the 2010-specification BMW X3 CCs used on the Dakar Rally to seal fourth and fifth places last January.

"This is a major development in cross-country rallying and something of which we are very excited," admitted Quandt. "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.

"Compared to the BMW X3CC, the Mini will be characterised by improved handling as the overall length is shorter and it is lower. We have also been able to improve on many other smaller details, such as the relocation of smaller components to lower the centre of gravity."

The Mini 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. Visibility inside the Mini All4 Racing is not on a par with the BMW X3 CC and entry and exit of the vehicle for the occupants is slightly more difficult, but Quandt is delighted with general improvements nonetheless.

The new Mini All4 Racing will form part of X-Raid's seven-car Dakar team - the largest ever entered by a team in the 33-year history of the world's most famous off-road rally - and the third of three vehicles running on the event under the Monster Energy X-Raid Team banner.

Dakar starts in Buenos Aires on New Year's Day and finishes in the Argentine capital on Sunday, January 16.

shares
comments
Lewis Williamson's career profile
Previous article

Lewis Williamson's career profile

Next article

Brundle joins Blundell for Daytona

Brundle joins Blundell for Daytona
Load comments
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021