Prodrive confirms MINI RX

Prodrive confirms it has started work on a Rallycross version of the MINI John Cooper Works
Prodrive confirms MINI RX

Prodrive has confirmed that it has started work on a Rallycross version of the MINI John Cooper Works, which will compete in the X Games and the Global Rallycross Championship in the hands of British driver Liam Doran.

Doran is set to debut in the John Cooper Works RX in the X Games in Barcelona next month followed by the event in Munich in June. Doran and his team will then head to the USA for the Global Rallycross Championship and the Los Angeles X Games.

The new MINI RX is closely based on the MINI John Cooper Works World Rally Car, but is being modified to make it competitive for Rallycross.

The car's 1.6 litre turbo engine will be remapped to run with the regulation 45mm restrictor in Rallycross, with a larger intercooler and extra turbo boost set to increase power by 20 per cent.

A second development phase will bring a further 15-20 per cent increase in power.

As well as being more powerful than the WRC machine, the John Cooper Works RX will run to a lower minimum weight thanks to a 90kg weight break in place due to the 1.6 litre engine.

All equipment used for rallying will be removed from the car will special carbon fibre body panels will be introduced in the second stage of the development programme.

"Having run the MINI non-competitively at the recent British Rallycross event at Lydden Hill at the new weight but with the WRC engine, we know it is already not that far off the pace of the Rallycross entries," Paul Eastman, Prodrive's head of rally engineering said. "With the initial extra power it should be a match for the two litre cars on the short stadium tracks for the X Games in Barcelona and Munich and then there is more to come in time for the longer US events.

"We are building a Rallycross car from the base of a meticulously engineered and refined World Rally Car, proven on every surface in the World Rally Championship. Since 95 per cent is the same, we already have in place a comprehensive parts package and distribution system."

Doran meanwhile welcomed the challenge of competing in the MINI later in the year.

"When I drove the MINI WRC at Lydden you could immediately feel how good the chassis was, and while clearly it didn't have the power I am used to, you could see that with some engine mods it would make a great Rallycross car," he said. "It will be great to be the first person to drive a properly works-engineered MINI RX and I think as such an iconic global brand, it will very quickly become a favourite of the fans on both sides on the Atlantic."

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