MINI has introduced the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally for 2017 Dakar Rally taking place in South America. The launch highlights MINI Motorsport’s long-term commitment to its involvement in motorsport especially in the arena of rally-raid and the FIA World Cup, the legendary Dakar Rally and the latest long-distance endurance challenge of the Silk Way Rally.
The 2017 MINI John Cooper Works Rally is an exciting new development from MINI and X-raid and destined to repeat race success achieved so far. Based on the all-new MINI Countryman, its sporting dynamics readily provided a platform for the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally and its role as a specialist cross-country rally car.
The cabin interior has been renewed. A carbon fibre dashboard area consists of three sections: driver, central and co-driver info units displaying essential info. The driver has selected gear display and LED readout for RPM and gear ratio shift alert. Speed, oil pressure, fluid temperatures and electronic functions are displayed on the central dashboard to enable both crew members to view. All navigational systems are located on the co-driver’s dashboard.
The exterior of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally replicates MINI Countryman and, therefore, MINI typical handling agility for racing use. It is also one of the areas of the car that has received special attention from X-raid technicians. Many hours spent in the BMW Group Wind Tunnel with in house motor sports specialists have resulted in aerodynamic detailing to considerably reduce drag.
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 experienced with the improved aerodynamics. The original design of the all-new MINI Countryman was transferred into MINI John Cooper Works Rally by emphasizing the main features.
The design team were designing to ‘form follows function’, by purposeful changing the original. The expressive fender flares are stressing the crease-lines which are very characteristic on the new MINI Countryman. The body itself is a lot wider on the fenders, which is helping to integrate an air-outlet in front of the doors.
The expressive hood was lowered for a better visibility for the drivers, by enhancing the landscaping of fenders and power dome, and the rugged looking John Cooper Works ALL4 Exterior Optic Pack was adapted to fit the car. The side covers for the underside tier housing the spare wheels are new “Rocker panels” and form a new design icon of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally.
To ensure the safety of the crew and in accordance with regulations, the chassis frame of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally is replaced with a specialist frame constructed from tubular steel to aerospace standards. Designed specifically for the demands of cross-country racing, the frame is constructed to exacting standards by CP Autosport.
While the main chassis carries the covering bodywork and provide the skeleton for driveline components it is the job of a front subframe to support the engine. MINI Motorsport partner X-raid devised this subframe to be removable. Such is the design of the chassis and the new subframe; complete engine removal, if required, can be completed in just over one hour.
Exemplary engine performance in terms of response, power // torque delivery and ultimate reliability is provided by a BMW Group TwinPower Turbo Six-Cylinder Diesel engine. Designed with endurance competition in mind, the 2993 cc dry sump engine produces 253kWh @ 3250 rpm, and torque of approx. 800 Nm @ 1850 rpm with the regulatory 38mm air restrictor in place.