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Mini has revealed that it will tackle the 2018 iteration of the Dakar Rally with two different types of drive.
The BMW-backed automaker will again team up with the German X-Raid Team. But, in addition to fielding an updated version of the familiar all-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Rally (pictured below), the team will run three rear-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Buggy cars.
So, what’s the reason behind the second vehicle concept? Well, the automaker says the answer “lies in the specifics of the Dakar Rally rules”, which now give two-wheel-driven cars certain advantages (such as the option of greater suspension travel and weight reductions) over all-paw variants.
Both the Mini John Cooper Works Rally and the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy are powered by a 3,0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine generating 250 kW and 800 N.m.
The team for the Dakar 2018 will comprise seven cars. The three Mini John Cooper Works Buggy vehicles will be piloted by Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies and Yazeed Al-Rajhi, while the driver seats in the Mini John Cooper Works Rally cars will be occupied by Orlando Terranova, Jakub Przygonski, Joan “Nani” Roma and Boris Garafulic.
The race kicks off on January 6, 2018 in Lima.