MINI has introduced the new John Cooper Works Buggy which will compete in the 2018 Dakar Rally.
Set to be driven by the X-raid team, the JCW Buggy is a rear-wheel drive model that is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 340 PS (250 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque.
The model rides on a tubular steel frame and features unique bodywork that was developed in “close cooperation with MINI Design.” While the model doesn’t look like anything in MINI’s lineup, the rally car is extremely lightweight as its body is constructed out of Kevlar and carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
The rally car has already undergone an extensive testing program which has seen the model tackle tough terrain in places such as Morocco and Hungary. X-raid team manager Sven Quandt says these tests have been quite successful as the “buggy never had to stop once due to a technical problem.”
The JCW Buggy will be joined by the familiar JCW Rally. Despite looking virtually identical to last year’s model, the latest JCW Rally has “targeted advancements” including a new chassis which is lighter and allows for more suspension travel.
MINI will be bringing seven vehicles to this year’s race and the three JCW Buggies will be driven by Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies, and Yazeed Al-Rajhi. The four JCW Rally models will be piloted by Orlando Terranova, Jakub Przygonski, Joan “Nani” Roma, and Boris Garafulic.