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Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

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On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Salamone

Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

Much has been said about Prodrive-enhanced Minis as the latest and greatest Mini modification. Step aside, Prodrive, X-raid has entered the arena. Sponsored by Monster, the German-based Baja racing team X-raid plans to enter five excruciatingly excellent Minis in a high-stakes South American desert rally race starting January 1, 2012 and concluding two weeks later across the continent.

In addition to five brightly-colored Minis, X-raid also intends to throw in three BMW X3s in the 2012 Dakar rally which spans from Mar del Plata, Argentina to Lima, Peru.

“We have got a truly competitive line-up and are very well prepared for the 2012 Dakar” said X-raid team Manager Sven Quandt. “Stephane Peterhansel most definitely represents our spearhead but the other four Minis All4 Racing also are raced by extremely competitive drivers. The motor-racing enthusiasts certainly will witness a fierce fight for the win but I’m convinced that they also will be thrilled by our colorful fleet. It will be a difficult Dakar and the competition which will benefit from the modification of the regulations should not be underestimated, especially the Toyotas and Mitsubishis.”

Quandt is referring to a new rule which encourages manufacturers to design rally vehicles with non-modified, stock engines. In theory this new set of non-modified engines will be lumped into a totally open class of cars which meet the stock criteria, toward an ultimate goal of the widespread use of non-modified engines—leading to an eventual reduction in cost-to-race and a leveling of field performance.

Another obvious benefit of encouraging non-moded engines is that consumers of rally racing love to cheer on cars they own or can buy just by walking down the street. And who knows? Maybe an official X-raid Mini might eventually make it to the showroom. So far the market for Mini’s Countryman seems somewhat light, but perhaps the automaker needs to take their ‘soft-roader’ to the next level. Could improving the vehicle’s intended function be the answer?

Regardless of how or why a sporting bunch of Mini Countrymen made their way onto the rally circuit, we can all agree that the X-raid team has made an excellent choice in styling. And if sponsorship impact is the goal, assuming the race starts or finishes with five highlighter-themed Minis sailing through the air, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be drinking Monster energy drinks and daydreaming of the Countryman for the next year.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



AutoHistory | 1:09PM (Tue, Nov 15, 2011)

That second video is really entertaining...


Stephy21 | 10:09AM (Wed, Nov 16, 2011)

Love the videos very cool article.

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