The Mini SUVs are no longer the ‘mini’ Minis. With their growing size, they are taking on bigger challenges a.k.a. Dakar Rally. So ahead of the legendary race, here is the John Cooper Works Rally, Mini’s contender for the 2017 Dakar.
The JCW rally starts as a Mini Countryman but it has been heavily modified – both mechanically as well as cosmetically. The Countryman body has undergone wind-tunnel testing to reduce drag and improve the top speed up to 185kmph. The bonnet has been lowered for a better view out of the windscreen. The wider body is made out of Kevlar and carbon fibre and fitted on the tubular space frame chassis to keep the weight as low as possible.
The centre of gravity has been lowered over last year’s car with the three spare wheels going under the car. The 250mm travel Reiger struts ensure the JCW rally can take on any terrain thrown at it and the increased ground clearance will ensure it doesn’t bottom out. It gets a real bash-plate a thick sump guard and an underbody metal cover to keep the flying rocks at bay.
The JCW Rally is powered by a straight-six 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine from the BMW 530d. The oil-burner develops 340bhp of power at 3250rpm and a massive 800Nm of torque from 1850rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed Sadev gearbox, AP racing clutch, front and rear diff-locks and a custom made exhaust from Akrapovic.
Built with X-raid, Mini’s rally partner in their four successive wins at Dakar, the JCW Rally will be looking forward to dominate the Dakar once again.