It is the news rally fans have been waiting for! The Mini adventure continues on the WRC stage nearly 50 years after its original debut. The original car was the David among Goliaths in the World Rally Championship back in the day, punching well above its weight! The car won championship after championship and even spawned the now famous name of Cooper that is synonymous with the brand. Today Mini is owned by BMW and they fully intend to relive the cars heritage all over again.
The new Countryman will be the platform development team Prodrive will use to build the new WRC contender. Though this Mini may not be so “mini” the WRC spec car will have a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine thanks to BMW motorsport, thus putting it in the line of fire with well-known teams that are already established rallying greats. Mini intend to enter at least half-a-dozen seasons as they have committed to running the new car in selected stages of 2011 and then full competition the year after. We will see the first test car kicking up dirt for evaluation during autumn this year.
Prodrive have signed the current Intercontinental Rally champion Kris Meeke to drive the new Mini rally car! Exciting stuff and truly showing that Mini want those classic Mini wins to enter the present day.