TG’s slidey, sideways ride in Mini’s new WRC weapon
The rallying Countryman may be a bit brutal to look at, but it’s ready to give the WRC an almighty kick up the backside in 2011
Posted: 14 Apr 2011
But the Mini WRC actually arose out of pure rally-winning motives. Nearly two years ago, Prodrive established a small team of its crack engineers to design and computer-model, via their own simulation software parameters, an ideal virtual rally car for the 2011 rules - the perfect length, weight, wheelbase, centre of gravity, suspension travel, engine position and aerodynamics. Their next stage was to analyse about a dozen road cars from different manufacturers to see which would mould best over the underpinnings of their theoretical package. About four seemed OK. Guess what: two were the Fiesta and DS3. Another was the barn-doored Mini Clubman. So Prodrive went to see Mini. And around that time they got wind of the Countryman. It was even more suitable than the Clubman.
Mini was up for it, so BMW commissioned Prodrive to design the car and manage and run the works team, with six rallies for the bed-in year of 2011, and a full assault in 2012.