• Video
  • Feb 19th 2013 at 10:01AM
  • 18
French stuntman Guerlain Chicherit hit the ski slopes of Tignes, France over the weekend – not to enjoy the fresh snow but to perform the first-ever unassisted backlip in a car, which was teased last month.

The unassisted part of the stunt comes from the fact that he Chicherit, in a special rally-prepped Mini Countryman, uses a regular, solid ramp rather than any specially modified ramps that have been used in the past to pull off this stunt. Unfortunately, after 18 months of practice, you'd think the video would be more entertaining by showing more closeups or better angles of the stunt.

Either way, you can check out Chicherit and his Countryman nail the back flip in the video posted below, and Mini has provided a press release and some high-res shots for the stunt as well.

Show full PR text
Leap, land, lap up the plaudits: MINI shows snowboarders how it's done with the perfect backflip.

Guerlain Chicherit and MINI team up to nail the world's first backflip in a car.

Note: This press release is a 1:1 copy of the original issued by MINI headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to cater for the UK market.

Munich. A MINI can do more. It can win the Dakar Rally twice in a row. It can conquer more than 100 markets worldwide. But what about defying the laws of gravity and showing snowboarders how to nail the perfect backflip? Extreme sportsman, freestyle skier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit rocked up at the winter sports resort of Tignes in his native France to prove it can do that as well. Chicherit pulled off the first such manoeuvre ever performed in a car using a static ramp, the driver and his MINI coming back down to earth – or, more specifically, a bed of fresh powder snow – unscathed after a perfectly executed backflip on a special prepared track. The jump can be seen in full on the MINI YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/mini.

The successful airbound stunt crowns an already impressive career in extreme sports for Chicherit. The 34-year-old is equally in his element on snow as he is behind the wheel of a rally car. Four times a freestyle skiing world champion, he has also won the French rally championship on two occasions. The Frenchman is also a veteran of the X-raid Team (which wrapped up back-to-back Dakar Rally titles in January 2013 with the MINI ALL4 Racing), having made his debut for the German outfit back in 2006. In 2011 Chicherit was in the driver's seat as the MINI ALL4 Racing turned its first wheels in South America for the world's toughest rally.

The MINI Backflip show event in Tignes gave Chicherit the chance to bring together every facet of his passion for extreme sports. Tignes is one of France's best-known winter sports locations and provided the venue for the freestyle skiing competitions in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

The backflip had previously been attempted by other drivers. But Chicherit has now become not only the first automotively-propelled artist to execute a perfect landing, he also did it "unassisted" – in other words, without the aid of a special ramp with moving elements to boost the car's rotational movement. For his take-off, Chicherit used a static ramp that fits the same template as a quarterpipe on a freestyle course. With the ideal ramp breakover angle in place, Chicherit needed only two other things to record a successful attempt: an extremely light touch with the accelerator and a MINI with a suitably buoyant spring in its step.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a Winter's Olympic event in the making... "Great elavation, with a high level of difficulty and even though there was a little hobble on the landing, I don't think it should effect the scoring that much... may be a half a tenth ,but I don't see much more than that. still a good score for Team Mini, Let's just hope it holds up. It 's good enough for second ,but next up are the Italians .Known for their toughness and tenacity , "le'Fiat. If any one can knock Mini off out of contention, it would be them....."
      • 2 Years Ago
      Blackflip... really?
      • 2 Years Ago
      When the camera pans a close up of the back of the car, you can tell the car is completely gutted because you can see the windshield through the tail lamps where the bulbs are missing!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not only is this 'news' two days after every other site, but you got a typo - in the headline! Priceless
      Nick Hunkar
      • 2 Years Ago
      New stunt for x-games
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car has about as much in common with a mini as ford's sprint cut car has to do with a regular fusion.
        • 2 Years Ago
        While I can appreciate the sentiment, the Countryman used is an actual gutted MINI Countryman whereas a Sprint Cup Fusion is nothing more than a NASCAR sanctioned roll cage/chassis with a standard skin on it and stickers to make it look like a Fusion. Quite a big difference I'd say however, this, for sure isn't even close to a stock MINI. Normally not the type of driving activity expected in your daily commute :-D
      • 2 Years Ago
      MINI marketing at its finest. As usual. Nobody does marketing like they do. Now about that reliability...
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      If only they offered that MINI at the dealerships...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aaaand they still printed MINI instead of Mini. Good job "Auto" blog!
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is why I buy Toms shoes and not MINI cars. How much money went into this garbage?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Isn't the first ever unassisted backflip like Monster suggest. Also what is a Blackflip?
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