The MINI JCW rally car was designed from the ground up to take on and win the Dakar rally. It’s a product of smart people trying to solve for an almost impossible journey across the most grueling parts of the South American continent. To do this MINI and the Xraid team had to extensively rework most areas of the car compared to the former cross-country rally Countryman. The following key areas were the priorities:

– Aerodynamics
– Thermal management
– Weight distribution
– Lower center of gravity
– Modified chassis frame design
– New engine mapping

dakar_rally_countryman_2475-highres
dakar_rally_countryman_2475-highres

Because the overall dimensions of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally are the same (1:1) to the former rally car, and that engine performance and overall car weight is, as in previous years, determined by FIA regulations, the improved aerodynamics of MINI John Cooper Works Rally are important for improved top speed on flat, open trail sections and the required stability at speed. Reduced fuel consumption and better subsystem cooling is also a side benefit to the improved aerodynamics.

Composite bodywork e.g. carbon fibre and Kevlar is used for the car’s outer shell, while a honeycomb mix of the same materials is used for an underside tier. The use of such materials is threefold: 1) strength and durability โ€“ ideal for additional safety protection of the two-man crew 2) reduced weight with greater strength, and 3) panels are easily removed or replaced during servicing periods or if damaged.

dakar_rally_59_11-2016-morocco-new

MINI John Cooper Works Rally: technical specifications

– Engine: BMW Group TwinPower Turbo Six-Cylinder Diesel
– Output: 340 bhp / 3250 rpm
– Torque (approx.): 800 Nm / 1850 rpm
– Capacity: 2993 cc
– Air restrictor: 38 mm diameter
– Top speed (approx.): 184 km/h
– Transmission: six-speed sequential gearbox
– Braking: 4 x six-piston calipers โ€“ air-cooled front, air / water-cooled rear. Discs: 320 x 32 mm
– Length / width / height: 4350 / 1999 / 2000 mm
– Wheel base: 2900 mm
– Track width: 1736 mm
– Weight: 1952,5 kg
– Fuel tank capacity (approx): 385 litres
– Chassis: tubular steel with composite bodywork
– Tyres: BF Goodrich 245/80R 16

In all it’s an incredibly complex car that is designed to survive the elements and ultimately bring the title back to MINI in 2017. The 2017 Dakar Rally begins January 1st.