Mini is adding some extra interest to this year’s Dakar Rally with a two-pronged assault using all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive.
Alongside the John Cooper Works Rally, a conventional all-wheel drive rally monster, Mini and its Dakar Rally racing partner, X-raid, is throwing the John Cooper Works Buggy into the mix.
This rear-wheel drive joy machine should be an absolute blast to drive. It’s powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel with 335bhp and 590lb ft, “newly conceived” but based heavily on a BMW unit. The same engine sits inside the JCW Rally.
The Buggy, though, is by far the cooler racer. The body is made of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, while kevlar is stretched over the tubular steel frame.
Apparently, during testing, the Buggy didn’t have to stop once for a mechanical failure or breakdown. That should be a cast-iron guarantee that something important will break on stage one of the actual rally…
Three of them will race alongside four JCW Rally cars when the event starts on 6 January in Lima, Peru. This event is the 40th annual running of the race, dubbed the toughest of its kind in the world.