Rumor: MINI to Release WRC Edition Countryman?

Rumors have been swirling for over a year now that MINI has something special planned for the Countryman. We’re hearing it’s a mix of the WRC race car with a dash of Cayenne Turbo thrown in for good measure. The result, while vague at the moment, sounds fantastic to us. Imagine a road going version of the wide-body MINI Countryman WRC with more power (something a little higher than the 211 on the current JCW MINI) and performance oriented all wheel drive. Oh and a wide body kit that will make you drool.

We’ve talked about this before as MINI’s next GP. Ideologically it would be quite different from the GP. But our sources have been telling us for quite awhile that MINI wants to create something very performance oriented to help sell the idea that the Countryman as a performance vehicle.

We’ll have more as the plot starts to thicken. Until then, sign us up.

Hat tip to Ausmotive.

  • Hoover

    Drool. Methinks it will cost a pretty penny…but man oh man…what fun.

  • M. Steele

    I want one! Can’t wait to hear the official release.

  • jahpaul

    I’ll take one in blue

  • Wow…I might seriously consider this over a Coupe if it looks as awesome as the other pictures have shown!

  • rosvick

    And suddenly, the R58 looks a bit less appealing to me. Perhaps a Countryman WRC is in my future instead…?

  • that.guy

    I could do without the dash of Cayenne Turbo, whatever that means, but otherwise this sounds interesting. An uprated (and much lower) suspension will be critical.

  • MikeJCW

    Ooooo gimme gimme! I love my JCW Clubman, but if MINI did a Countryman WRC edition….I could definitely see trading up. Sounds awesome if they do it right.

  • grueinthebox

    Sounds pretty slick as long as you can get it without the driving lights on the bonnet… Any chance of a Dakar edition in the Countryman’s future?

  • JackMac

    Since this is a Rumor story, I will speculate that MINI will just go to the parts bin for this special edition. JCW motor and body kit, rally lights, “37” stickers, and some minor interior/exterior treatment.

    They haven’t really gone “outside of the box” since the GP. Would be happy if I were be wrong about this, but we’ll see.

    Either way, I’m sure it will look like a champion 😉

  • Mark

    Count me in for one if the price is right & they make it a legit performer (and with the widebody).

  • MikeJCW

    Yeah, a Countryman with the widebody (fender flares) would be sweeeet.

  • Bilbo Bagginjs

    As interesting as it might sound it is still a countryman and it is still a big car. Would rather see the AWD package put in the hatch, with a widebody kit.

    230 – 250hp would be nice also, as long as we are dreaming.

  • Adam

    I posted on the Fiat comments thread that when my current BMW lease ends that the Fiat 500 was first on my list. This Countryman would completely change that if they make it more than finish and trim changes and give it the engine and suspension it deserves. I would be willing to pay $40-45K fully optioned and never think about Fiat again.

  • JonPD

    Still humors me more than anything that when it comes to performance MINI’s that BMW/MINI is transfixed with the crossover MINI while the R56 jcw still is having major issues selling. This fits perfectly into the BMW culture of looking at their SUV/SAVs as performance cars. I have hope in the Twins changing this but I fully expect for them to get the same treatment the R56 has gotten leaving them well short of being the top level performance car from MINI.

    Sorry but as much as I love performance cars this would make me purely angry seeing the bigger is better methodology firmly take hold at MINI.

  • r.burns

    300hp for the WRC car

    and it is the beginning

  • Chris B.

    too bad it will be just a limited production model. I say they just turn it into a JCW edition Countryman for all.

    JonPD, sorry to say but you’re definitely the minority. Conspicuous consumption is what sells today, even though you wouldn’t be doing a whole lot of it fuel wise, but definitely in terms of appearances.

  • that.guy
    They haven’t really gone “outside of the box” since the GP.

    Yeah, that fake non-structural “decorative cargo brace” was really innovative… I think we can be honest that the GP was a skin job infused with some readily available JCW parts. The only significant differences were the slightly lighter rear control arms and slightly larger intercooler. Wow. If that is your bar for this WRC R60, it is way too low imo.

  • JonPD

    Actually that.guy the GP has a few more tweaks than that. Upgraded aerodynamics and the weight savings not only from the rear seat removal.

    • John

      But again, outside the box?  That’s a stretch IMO.  Great car but I didn’t see anything non-boxed about it.

  • Obi Quiet

    What are the odds they might do a Rally focused “delivery event” for a select few buyers, like they did with the GP at Laguna Seca?

  • GregW

    A brilliant move by MINI. I am not up with current Race or Rally rules, but back in the “old” days, you had to make a certain number of cars to qualify as being a “production” model and not just a one-off race/rally car. I think the term was “homologation specials”. They might make a limited number like the JCW F1 50.

  • that.guy

    @JonPD You’re right. I forgot the non-functional brake duct openings in the front valance and lightweight wheels. Sorry.

  • otter

    Sounds cool; however, in my opinion a Paceman version would more desirable.

  • JackMac

    “Wow. If that is your bar for this WRC R60, it is way too low imo.”

    It’s not my bar, sorry. I was speculating that MINI won’t even go that far (as far as the GP) with a WRC Edition R60 for the public. Hope they prove me wrong, as we would all like to see something more on a WRC R60.

  • Hans

    Something like this could seriously get me back into MINIs! I’ve had a lot of negative MINI posts, but something like this which good performance and not too much fake performance and racy parts is exactly what I want. Please have a unique functional interior and a better e-brake handle!

  • I like it in this trim, without… not at all.

  • cze33r

    This is frustrating … just because Porsche and BMW throw 500hp and an M badge at a 2 tonne SUV does not make it a performance car and likewise throwing 250hp at the countryman does will not make it a performance car. It’s just engineers trying to show everyone how clever they are and unfortunatly people are falling for it.

    Do you really think that the road going car is going to have tricky centre diffs and all of the rally gubbins in it ? You are going to get a tweaked version of ALL4 at best.

    You people seriously need to re-adjust your thoughts on what a performance car is.

    I have hope that one day we will see a full carbon fibre bodied MINI after BMW’s Megacity project is complete. This makes more sense to me and fits in better with the MINI ethos.

    Cue mass flaming 🙂

    • Jacob dee

      “cue mass flaming” as if to portend the future.  The man knows more than us all people!  Who said anything about tricky centre diffs, etc?  I think most folks agree it would be somewhere in the middle with most of that being JCW stuff that is already lying around.  MINI isn’t going to make an R60 that goes 0-60 in 3. something seconds for the street.  We all know what a performance car is.  Your not educating anyone though I suspect it makes you feel good to think you are.

  • JonPD

    Lets hope for all you Crossover fans that they produce something better than the quasi sport R56 jcw or else your 3k ton MINI (HAH) is going to wallow around the corners. Another vehicle from BMW/MINI that a unique new market. A tuned crossover learned from Porsche, a city car learned from Mercedes, a small crossover from any number of manufacturers. I figure its likely be a more or less standard jcw with a full complement of stickers.

  • Pingback: Category Ford | Rumormill: Mini working on road-going version of WRC Countryman?()

  • goat

    @jonpd -you may be right but I will dare to dream of something closer to the STi or even EVO in rawness and demeanour. Yes the “slip then grip” is not ideal for this but maybe we will see different programming to always send power to rears… One can hope?

  • that.guy

    @goat You could stop dreaming and just buy an Evo. Used VIIs and IXs are pretty reasonable. After I test drove a IX and completely fell in love I discovered that the rear seats don’t fold down. Why does God hate me!

  • JonPD

    Think any chance of the jcw form of the R60 or any other MINI to still be well out of the ranks of the STi or EVO. While I am not a fan of either car they are pretty solid cars with well sorted performance oriented awd. I am not trying to bash anybody over this car, just getting very tired of the non-stop deluge of R60 this, that and the other thing. I know a large part of this is that is the newest thing from the brand and they are trying to throw a wide net as possible to lure more people towards the R60. I understand the process just still have zero love for the R60 family.

    I do really want jcw to work to buff up its tarnished image that was caused by the large numbers of them that set idle at dealerships. I just hope that MINI turns a corner with the jcw sub brand and starts producing cars that resonate with the market a bit better.

    • John

      I agree but will say I see more JCW Coupe owners than Coupe or Coupe S owners on NAM and elsewhere.  Granted Coupe sales are low but it does say something about JCW as it relates to the Coupe (which is a new addition).


    I’m thinking along the same lines as otter, Paceman WRC version

  • Mark
    I understand the process just still have zero love for the R60 family.

    As you’ve made clear over and over and over…

  • JonPD

    Unlike the people that love it ;)… lol

  • goat

    @ that.guy – A lot of the japanese cars are not stiff enough to allow dropping the rear seat… the Lexus sedans share the same flaw compared to the euro sedans they claim to compete with. As for the EVO, love the EVO performance, but do not love the EVO as an overall package for its price (especially as priced in Canada)… or most japanese cars for that matter. Now, I do have a miata in the garage so I’ve made an exception for that car at least. 🙂

  • JonPD

    Still would like MF and MINI pick up and write something how a R60 GP2 makes sense as the top of the performance for the brand while the company touts the Twins as the top performance models of the brand. Imagine in Porsche where the 911 is the top tear sports car and then them turning out a Cayenne GT3 instead of the 911. I just don’t understand, to me this is MINI turning its back on the Twins even before we see them hit the show circuit in final trim. Maybe my understanding about the twins are wrong but think this is how they have been portrayed by MF and MINI so far.