The wonderful folks at Rallybuzz.com are at it again with a great update on the current MINI crossover that looks to make its WRC debut next year.
The bottom lineup on the project is that it will happen and it is on schedule for next season. Dave Richards and some of the other top brass at Prodrive were in Sweden this past weekend for the WRC’s opening round. What was labeled as a fact finding mission has brought forth some specifications on what the boys from Banbury are working on.
The car is a 4×4 crossover that is set to be released at the Geneva Motor Show later this year. The version that will be on display is in fact the WRC variant. Prodrive has also began work on their 1.6 litre turbo engine that will power the machine. While no driver has been signed as of yet, rumor has it that Mads Ostberg may be in line for the factory seat. You may know Mads from his recent WRC efforts in his privately owned Subaru Impreza WRC which finished within the top ten this weekend.
Regardless of the type or look of the vehicle, the fact that another manufacturer with BMW’s MINI division is good for rally. This situation reminds me a lot of the BRAWN GP situation in the F1 realm. Prodrive has an ample amount of time to develop this project and has a good chance at doing well. While other manufacturers fight for the championship, MINI will be able to really research the technical regulations and maximize the machines performance in time for the next season. There is no date currently for testing to begin, but Ford and Citroen not looking to test until at least September of this year. I will watch this program anxiously to see if this may bring in some other names and faces back into the WRC fold.