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
The four-wheel-drive systems are chalk and cheese. The road car has an electronically controlled centre diff. That's not allowed on the rally car. It actually has no centre diff at all: front and rear propshafts turn at the same rate. This has the advantage of giving stability when you're aiming between lines of trees at three-figure speeds on gravelly mud - it keeps the car stable. But for tight tarmac corners, that tendency to run straight is the last thing you want. So there's a linkage that simply disconnects drive to the rear, and it's connected to the handbrake. This means every slow corner must begin with a handbrake flick. From a spectator's point of view, what's not to like?