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Mini All 4 Countryman goes Dakar rallying - Gosh, it looks strange!

By Rigval on 20 Dec 2010

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While I totally fancy the current BMW Mini I find that the newly launched Countryman is a mini too far. Or in other words, there is nothing 'Mini' about it and it distorts the image of what a Mini is to such an extent that it looks pretty monstrous. And imagine when my discomfort when I found out that the Monster Energy X-raid team has unveiled the new MINI ALL4 'Countryman' racing which will compete in the 2011 Dakar rally series. A Monster team driving a monster Mini. How appropriate.

So the largest of all Minis, gets a pretty tall suspension lift, lots of rally development and also receives a massive heart; a 3.0liter twin turbo diesel engine that pumps out 315PS and 700Nm of torque. This engine may be happier in a truck than in something that is supposed to be a Mini. Amazingly, the development and work done coverting the all-wheel drive Countryman into rally spec too a mere three months. Team Monster Energy X-raid seems pretty confident that the All 4 will be successful.

The Mini All 4 is currently undergoing testing in France by team Monster Energy X-raid driver Guerlain Chicherit and navigator Michel Perin after which is will be off to its first rally event. The All 4 will make its maiden rally debut at the 33rd Personal Dakar Argentina-Chile that runs from the 1st to the 16th of January 2011.

What I can add is that the All 4 does look like a neat looking Off-Road vehicle but then when you suddenly realize that it is actually a variant of the BMW Mini, the opinion changes quite a bit, and then you ask “What were they thinking?”. Somehow, the translation from a concept drawing (below) to the actual car pictured isn't that pleasing to the eye.

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dakar rally, motorsport,bmw mini and 2 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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