Who says MINIs are to small to be big contenders? Certainly not it parent group BMW or the people behind the scenes at MINI that develop the little car for all different types of segments. During the summer we reported on the MINI Takes the States event, which had the cool and clean MINI E, as well as, the MINI Countryman. Now at the 2010 Paris Motor Show MINI has unveiled their newest World Rally Championship car. It is lean, mean and in the Clubman format.
According to Ian Robertson, member of the board of management for MINI parent BMW Group’s sales and marketing, they choose the World Rally Championship “in order to prove the sportiness of Mini cars to today's generation of drivers." Given the MINI events I have attended, this probably isn’t a hard sell, especially with the rich Rally heritage the company has from years past. This includes the company’s first win in 1959 at the Mini Miglia National Rally. However, proving something isn’t the only reason MINI has brought the Clubman to the World Rally Championship program. "The commitment also reinforces the key values of the Mini brand, ‘excitement’ and ‘energy,’ as well as underlining the manly side of the brand.” Okay, okay, maybe proving something really is the main part of this equation.
2011 MINI WRC racer
The WRC version of the MINI Clubman will come equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Even more interesting, and rare, is the all-wheel drive configuration with six-speed sequential gearbox. As you can imagine, the MINI has a lot of potential to take the WRC by storm. MINI isn’t rushing it though, they will run six of the 13 scheduled races for 2011 and then plan to run a full program in 2012.
As they say, “Let’s MINI.”
Stay tuned for more news from the 2010 Paris Motor Show right here at AllSmallCars.com.