For the last several years, MINI has been writing history in rallying but with a twist. While the original car was known for its rallying performance in the 1960s and several years after, the 2000s came with a different approach, the brand competing in the Dakar rally quite successfully with its partner, X-Raid. As a matter of fact, the British brand is one of the most successful in the event right now and now we have a Countryman model out, using some of the expertise gathered in the desert over the years.
The MINI Countryman has always been the most prone model to be used off-road, even though nobody really considered it a proper dirt-track model. Nevertheless, it’s the only SUV to bear the winged badge on the hood right now and therefore, it was the obvious choice for this special edition made in collaboration with X-Raid. What we’re left with is a special MINI Countryman powered by X-Raid version that’s bound to turn some heads.
The MINI Countryman Powered by X-raid model comes with a higher ground clearance and a different set of wheels, meant to be capable of withstanding some seriously sharp rocks along the way. According to X-Raid, the car is now well equipped for individual challenges on off-road terrain.
Increasing the ride height of the vehicle and the large format for wheel rims and tires raise the ground clearance for the MINI Countryman overall by up to 40 mm. As a result, the fording depth and the ramp angle are significantly optimized.
The wheels developed specially for rallying provide effective protection against tire damage. A robust rim ring ensures that it is not necessary to change the entire wheel if damage is sustained on rocky ground. It also creates a powerful visual impact and masks the high tire flanks.
There’s no mention about other changes having been done to the car or about how the ride height was increased; whether it was done by changing the shocks or by using some other trick. One thing’s for sure: this Countryman definitely looks better than ever.