X-raid presents Mini John Cooper Works Buggy for 2018 Dakar Rally
The German X-raid team, known for its longstanding participation at Dakar Rally, will enter a new era at 2018 Dakar Rally. After running only four-wheel drive vehicles in the world’s toughest race in the past 15 years, X-raid presents a completely new two-wheel drive desert racer for the 2018 edition of Dakar Rally – the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy.
The work on the project began in February 2017. In early September, the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy covered its first kilometres during the roll-out at the X-raid headquarters in Trebur. And just a few days later it went out for its first off-road test in Hungary.
“We are absolutely delighted with having the opportunity to present our buggy today, a vehicle our entire team worked really hard on, in the past months. This development is unique in the X-raid history as never before so many engineers were involved in the development of an X-raid vehicle,” said X-raid Team Principal Sven Quandt.
Together with a development of a new car, X-raid improved its previous model Mini John Cooper Works Rally. The car was drastically redesigned and improved in many areas. The main improvements resulting from the new regulations are the increased spring travel (from 250 to 280mm) and the reduction of the total minimum weight from 1952 to 1850kg.
“Despite all the euphoria you definitely should not forget the 4×4. There are routes and terrains where the all-wheel drive definitely represents an advantage. Furthermore, our car is extremely reliable and it was the car’s reliability that helped us claiming numerous successes,” said Sven Quandt.
At 2018 Dakar Rally, X-raid will run three Buggy cars and four Mini 4WD cars. The Buggy crews are Mikko Hirvonen/Andreas Schulz, Bryce Menzies/Pete Mortensen and Yazeed-Al Rajhi/Timo Gottschalk. The Mini John Cooper Works Rally cars will be driven by Orlando Terranova/Ronnie Graue, Nani Roma/Alex Haro, Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul and Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro.
“It’s our goal to make it to the podium,” concluded Sven Quandt. “No matter if with the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy or the MINI John Cooper Works Rally. There are many variables we can’t control, such as the routing, the weather and – of course – a dose of luck. Something you definitely also need if you want to succeed in the Dakar.”