Mini Countryman enters World Rally Championship

Mini will enter the WRC from 2011 with a rallying version of its Countryman SUV

Mini Countryman for WRC

Mini is entering the World Rally Championship in 2011 with the new Countryman SUV. Mini says the Countryman is a great base for a competitive racing car and is a confirmed contender for next year’s WRC. Prodrive has been tasked with its development; the same Banbury outfit behind the Subaru rally campaign until its withdrawal from the sport in 2008. The Countryman WRC car is designed to enter the new Super 2000 regulation championship which stipulates the use of 1.6-litre turbocharged engines, four-wheel drive and an increased emphasis on a road car relationship, helping to reduce cost. In this case a BMW Motorsport-developed engine will be producing the steam.  Mini will campaign in selected 2011 events with customer orders already taken, a full 2012 WRC season will follow with involvement expected for several years. The Countryman will do battle with the S2000 Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia, Peugeot 207 and more, with rumours linking Markus Gronholm to a seat. Kris Meeke is also said to have been in discussions with BMW for a drive, which could make for a nice British driver and car setup, if you can ignore Mini’s ownership and focus on its heritage… BMW board member Ian Robertson said ‘Mini customers have always shown great interest in Motorsport. I am convinced we will add a few more chapters to our success story in rallying.’ Mini captured the imagination of WRC fans back in the 1960s with the original Cooper S by taking the fight to the big powered Fords and winning the 4000km Monte Carlo rally. A great rallying name returning to the sport is spiffing news and for added nostalgia, strong rumours suggest the Countryman will make its debut at Monte Carlo.

Click here for our road test of the new Mini Countryman

Join evo's Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages

Most Popular

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?
Audi RS3 manufacturer spy 1
Audi RS3

2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?

Audi Sport is putting the final touches on its new RS3 hot hatch and saloon
10 Jun 2021
Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder
Posaidon Mercedes-AMG E63
Mercedes E63 AMG

Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder

Three new Posaidon power upgrades are now available for Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S, bringing hypercar numbers to the four door supersaloon
9 Jun 2021
Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?
Ferrari F171 spy 2021 – front
Ferrari

Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?

Ferrari’s going hybrid and V6 for its next mid-engined supercar
9 Jun 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers

The long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid has finally come to fruition, with first US examples hitting the road
11 Jun 2021
HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86
HKS Toyota GR 86
Toyota

HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86

Japanese tuner HKS is in development of a supercharger upgrade package for the new GR 86
9 Jun 2021
2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV
Alpina XD3 and XD4 2021 – header
Alpina XD3

2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV

The updates to the Alpina XD3 and XD4 are largely of the aesthetic kind, but more torque and new chassis calibrations are also part of the package
10 Jun 2021
2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched
2021 Maserati GranTurismo spy – track
Maserati

2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched

GranTurismo coupe and its soft-top GranCabrio sibling to be reborn later this year, but controversially without the proposed combustion alternative...…
11 Jun 2021
Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market
Cheap fast cars 2021
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market

If you buy right and do your research, the cheap fast car is a wonderful thing. Here are our top picks between £1000 and £10,000
25 May 2021
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competitions
BMW

2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced

Engine upgrades, a chassis recalibration and some striking new visuals for BMW’s hot midsize SUVs
11 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals 11 June 21
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
11 Jun 2021
Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated
Best small cars 2021
Best cars

Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated

You don’t need 200bhp or more in a small hatchback to have fun – these ‘warm’ small cars are the proof
7 Jun 2021
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Rolls-Royce Ghost

2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review

Latest Ghost gets a new platform, four-wheel steering and fresh looks, and continues to set the luxury saloon bar
5 Jun 2021
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport unveiled – elegant take on the record-breaking hypercar
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport unveiled – elegant take on the record-breaking hypercar

Chiron Super Sport to join the 300+ with a new focus on luxury and speed
8 Jun 2021