• Sep 15th 2010 at 10:57AM
  • 15
2011 Mini Countryman WRC – Click above to watch video after the jump

If it looks like a WRC racer, sounds like a WRC racer and moves like a WRC racer, chances are it will be able to handle itself against the rest of the pros on the global rally stage. We've already gotten a few quick glimpses of the Mini Countryman WRC thanks to a handful of still photos from the beater's development at the Prodrive studios, but so far, we haven't been able to see the car in action. Consider that problem taken care of.

A few videos have cropped up on the YouTubes showing the car being put through its paces over some pretty grueling gravel stages in Portugal. From what we can see, the racer is plenty quick, if not a bit unsorted. We're guessing that the mechanical wizards at Prodrive will have the car fit for duty well before it knocks skulls with the rest of the heathens in the WRC.

Now the only real question is whether or not Mini is going to offer some variant of the go-fast pieces found on the WRC bruiser to the masses. We're thinking we could rock a Countryman with a lower stance, meaner turbo and physics-bending brakes. Hit the jump to take a look at a few of the videos yourself.

[Source: YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah I'm happy too see Mini re-join the field but is it just me or does this car seem to make a big noise and little speed?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would be far more interested in the WRC-grade AWD system with adjustable bias than I would the brakes or suspension. Aftermarket 3rd parties will do fine with brakes & suspension bits for a street driven (or even tracked) car. It's *much* harder to modify the AWD system and if it became a factory option ("check WRC-package for good AWD instead of the inevitable front-bias crap that comes standard") I'd be all over it.

      The only cars with *good* AWD can be counted on one hand. GT-R, STI, Evo, Acura's SH-AWD [although I'd argue that the Acura setup isn't as good as the other 3]. Audis with torsen-based Quattro are decent, but you still don't have the adjustment options or number of torque-biasing diffs that you do in the other systems. Same with Porsche.

      The growing popularity of "e-diffs" i.e. open diffs that will auto-brake the spinning wheel is kind of sad. I suppose it's better than nothing and it keeps you from spinning a single front wheel, but come on. If I were buying a VW GTI, I'd gladly pay a little more for a real TBD in the front.
        • 5 Years Ago
        a wrc gearbox is over 100.000€.
        phone companies like XTRAC.

        but it a 100 grand well invested, you'll beat a corvette zr1 without any doupt in 0-60 with a 1.6 liter 4 cyl.
        have a view and see master Colin on the gearbox:
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know if anyone noticed but the driver in these videos is listed as Marko Martin, a very successful WRC driver in his own right. He retired from driving after an accident killed his co-driver a few years back.

      If he's doing testing he's already got a foot in the door. Just sayin'.

      I've gotta say this is probably one of the ugliest WRC cars since the Audi S2 Quattro. Which means it's gorgeous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here is the deal for MINI. Next season they will have Kris Meeke driving one car, with Paul Nagle navigating. The second driver I am unsure of, but there is talk of Marcus Gronholm. For next season they will be entering into 6 rallies, and spend the remaining time testing so that by the following season they will be fully competitive for the entire championship.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      A. LOVE the exhaust, an angry swarm of bees, not shrill like F1, sort like a great chainsaw! Reminds me of tuned exhausts on large R/C helicopters!

      B. After watching all clips, in the half dozen shots with clear views of the front splitter: Why is it only on the L half? By design to cool something on the right? Because they already beat the R side and cut it off to keep testing? It just looks odd.

      Overall, love it love it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      something about the top picture makes the car look really really long. It might be that the A-pillar on the near side blends in with the glass too well or something.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome! It will be great to have another manufacturer competing in the main series, I was getting tired of seeing so many different Ford and Citroen teams...

      I wonder who's going to be piloting them next season, someone brand new, someone from P or S-WRC, or are they going to pull someone like Petter or Henning Solberg?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It was previously reported that the driver signed is Kris Meeke.
      • 5 Years Ago
      EWWW! Please let me drive it, but please don't make me look at it!!! :P I love the mini but I have to say the "panamera" styling (read: just make it looong) is detrimental to the mini look. Now, as a race car drifting around corners, trowing debris up and screaming at triple digit speed I have to say: I love this car!!! :D
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was there yesterday and that little thing sounded amazing! I will be there again tomorrow (although some sources say it broke it's first engine today).

      @jw, the splitter was broken on the right side.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GO MINI !!

      Was that a blow off valve ? sweet
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well I'll be damned, who'd of thunk it?
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