Mini All4 Racing scored four Dakar Rally victories in a row
In a short period of time, from 2012 until 2015, Mini All4 Racing became the second most successful car in the history of Dakar Rally, with an amazing number of four consecutive overall wins, right behind the current record holder, Mitsubishi Pajero, the car which won 12 Dakars with various versions and evolutions. The only car besides the Mini with four victories in the famous raid is Citroen ZX, which was victorious during the 1990s.
Mini All4 Racing – the BMW X3 CC successor
Mini All4 Racing is a rally-raid-modified version of Mini Countryman, which also has few versions for World Rally Championship and regional/national rally competitions. Mini All4 Racing is a successor of BMW X3 CC, a very popular vehicle at Dakar and other cross–country races during 2010 and 2011. In fact, Mini All4 Racing is an improved version of BMW’s racing SUV with Mini bodywork.
Reliable 3.0L turbo diesel engine
The engine used by this Mini (transferred from BMW), is a straight-six TwinPower turbo diesel engine with a capacity of 2993cc. Maximum power is 320 (at 3250 rpm), while maximum torque is about 800 Nm (at 2100 Nm). Engine is paired with Sadev 6-speed gearbox. As noticed in the name of the car, four-wheel drive is a standard.
Two and a half ton car capable of going 180 km/h
Dimensions of the car were 4333 x 1998 x 1996 mm (length x width x height), with the wheel base of 2900 mm. Track width is quite impressive, 1736 mm, which ensures amazing off-road abilities. The weight of an empty car is 1953 kg, so with the crew and 385 liters of fuel it weighs about 2500 kg.
Such a heavy car has a max speed of 180 km/h. On the open asphalt road it may not be that impressive of a view but such speed on off-road tracks is something you will instantly like.
First Mini Countryman at 2011 Dakar Rally
The first Mini for Dakar was assembled in 2010 and debuted at the 2011 Dakar Rally. BMW and German X-Raid Team competed with six BMW X3 CC cars but Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit was driving #305 Mini Countryman, which was the first modern Mini at Dakar.
Peterhansel scored first win in 2012
In 2012, BMW cars were replaced by Mini All4 Racing models. Five drivers competed with new cars and Stephane Peterhansel scored the first victory for Mini and his tenth win at Dakar. It was a 1-2 victory for X-Raid because Joan ‘Nani’ Roma finished second. The success was repeated in 2013, again with Peterhansel on top podium spot, while Russian Leonid Novitskiy took the third place.
The 2014 hat-trick: Creating a Mini All4 Racing gallery at the Dakar podium
Mini’s dominance continued in 2014 with a 1-2-3 victory. The event was marked by a controversial team order which slowed down Peterhansel and handed the victory to his team-mate Roma, while Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah finished third. It completed the hat-trick of the 2014 for the X-Raid, and the fans in Chile were able to witness an all-Mini All4 podium with yellow, black, and white Mini All4 Racing cars on view, assuming respective positions.
At 2015 Dakar, Al-Attiyah scored his second win and the fourth victory for Mini. One more X-Raid’s driver Krzysztof Hołowczyc took the third podium spot in the 2015 edition of the race.
Mini finished second at 2016 Dakar Rally
At 2016 Dakar Rally the record number of 12 Minis competed at South American deserts and mountains. Multiple winners Nasser Al-Attiyah and Nani Roma were leading the team, with the support of a few experienced drivers, but they missed one more victory. Al-Attiyah was the best placed Mini driver, and he finished second.
For the 2017 Dakar Rally, a new version of Mini had been introduced, named Mini John Cooper Works Rally.