Mini Countryman – Click above for high-res image gallery
Rally and the original Mini went together like sugar and grits. That pint-sized Brit made a habit of showing up at stages, mopping the floor with the competition and motoring home with trophies in tow. The wringability of the little hatches helped catapult them into the storied halls of motorsports lore – something that the new generation of Mini machines has been quick to capitalize on. Now that the brand is set to introduce the Countryman, there's some concern as to whether or not the high-riding CUV can adhere to the brand's ethos of punching above its weight.
We've heard repeated murmurings in the past about a collaboration between the rally gurus at Prodrive and Mini that could result in the honkin' Countryman doing battle in the most grueling rally arena of them all – the WRC. A new report says that the two companies will announce something pertinent to their work together later this week. We're hoping that means a first look at the rally beater, but since we haven't heard word one from Mini just yet, it's hard telling. Autocar seems to think that the announcement may have more to do with the team's schedule than anything else, saying that it expects Mini to hit the WRC by the time Rally Italy rolls around in May of 2011.