September 15, 2010

Mini Countryman WRC testing video

I wonder about Mini/ prodrive choosing the Countryman the platform for its WRC car, the bodyshell seems awfully big and very tall compared to the competition. The final bodywork has not been shown yet but I imagine it will take some special wizardry to keep the center of gravity low in that bus!

Here the WRC Countryman is filmed testing in Portugal, wrung out by Estonian ex WRC driver and ex Subaru test driver Markko Martin.




  1. Actually, Prodrive specifically chose the Countryman because it fitted their ideal WRC platform (along with others), one reason being the tiny overhangs. I don't think it's that much bigger or taller than a Focus / Impreza / C4, if at all?

  2. Comparing the production models, the C4 max height is 1.45 mts, while the Mini Countryman max height is 1.56 mts.

    So it's 11 cms, and from an engineering standpoint that can be a big pain in the ass.

    To overcome the disadvantaged center of gravity they will have to work on shaving weight from the higher parts of the car but given the fact that in a Rally-Car those are also very important for driver protection, I don't think that will be easy.

    Besides this, I don't know what the WRC regulations do state about the rollcage. If they can fit it at a standard height regardless of the roof height things will be fine, but if they have to stick it to the roof, it will be really difficult as the tubes are heavy.

    Consider that the highes Rally-Car around at the moment should be the Skoda Fabia S2000.
    In that case the production model is 1.50 high, so the Mini has still 6 cms more than that.

  3. The Countryman, at least in street version is pretty stout, and blunt especially compared to a C4 coupé, I'm sure Prodrive would have rather work with a Mini shell but that probably did not work for marketing.

  4. I'm pretty sure the WRC regs have a minimum size for a car. I bet that all the Minis but the countryman are too small.

  5. I'm sorry, but WRC has been getting worse and worse the past couple of years. Not really from a drivers point of view, although it gets a bit tiresome if only Loeb is winning, but more from a point of cars. Two manufacturers.

    Not only that, but, at least in Group A days, you were able to BUY almost the same car that was racing on the roads. It gave birth to the Impreza, Celica, Evo, Escort (I know i know), Sierra etc. etc.. Now all we get is an chewed up mini hatch? Sorry, but no, i just don't like it at all.

    The Fiesta is probably the only car i would accept as a rallye platform, but even that car simply doesn't tickle my fancy like the old Imprezas and Evos did.

    Do we want our children lusting over some mini hatchback that you can't even get with anywhere NEAR the same power and/or handling as the competition cars?

    I say no! Boycott is the only option! Start burning flags and tires!

    Ok, might be a bit much, but i still don't like the new WRC cars :-(

  6. @Jacob B: I disagree, I think Mini getting back into WRC is the best thing that happened for years, wish it was the Mini though, not the bus.

  7. Agreed, rumours are that with MINI getting involved, a couple of other manufacturers may follow - so in 3 years time we could have a 5 or 6 manufacturer championship. Much more like the glory days!

    Even just the one would be good, 3 has to be better than 2.

  8. Oh i'm not saying that Mini/Prodrive getting back in, let alone more manufacturers, is a bad thing. What i don't enjoy is seeing, for European standards, small shopping cars become the highest level of rallying, let alone not being able to buy a car with similar performance to what we will see on the weekend.

    More manufacturers is always good, and i enjoy them getting back in, but at least give me the option to get an AWD 250+hp version of that car to buy :P.


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