Mini’s 2011 World Rally Championship contender has been spotted testing for the first time.
The car, based on the Countryman SUV, is being developed by Prodrive, who were the company behind Subaru’s previous success in the championship. The firm will initially test for four days on their private test track before taking the car to Portugal for a week-long gravel test.
David Lapworth, technical director at Prodrive said, “As with any totally new car, it is vital to take the time to ensure all the systems are working as intended before embarking on a week long gravel test.”
The bodywork and aerodynamics have not been finalized yet, hence the swirly camouflage, but the car will be officially unveiled at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Meanwhile, BMW’s Motorsports division in Germany are developing the car’s 1.6L turbocharged engine for Prodrive.
Two-time former WRC champion Marcus Gronholm and the late Colin McRae’s protege, Kris Meeke, are currently lined up to drive a few selected rounds next year for Mini before a full season in 2012.
Source: Auto Express