MINI John Cooper Works Buggy 2017
“The idea to build a buggy existed for quite a while, mainly due to the advantages granted by the regulations,” reveals Sven Quandt, “And in late 2016, the idea began to take shape.” February 2017 was the starting signal for the project: altogether, more than 50 engineers of X-raid and numerous partners worked on the new buggy. “The aero package was of major importance and was enhanced together with KLK in many simulations,” says Quandt, “The final looks of the vehicle were created in cooperation with MINI design.” It goes without saying that long-term partners, such as BMW Motorsport, Magna Steyr, Heggemann, CP Autosport and Faster, were also involved. “It was the very first buggy designed and built by us but we could benefit from our massive cross-country experience”
Bringing together on site all those involved would not only have resulted in high costs but would’ve also been virtually impossible, time-wise. So, it was decided to hold Webex conferences. “These conferences dictated our lives for four months,” adds Sven Quandt. ”But they offered us the opportunity to even discuss trifles.” In the phone and video conferences, processes and components for the buggy could be analysed and discussed.
In early September, less then 7 months after the start of the project, the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy covered its first kilometres during the roll-out at the X-raid headquarters in Trebur. And just a few days later it went out for its first off-road test in Hungary. “Prior to this test we were really excited,” reveals Sven Quandt, “But everything went fine and the buggy completed the tests without encountering any major problems.” Consequently, the team could send it to difficult terrain and the buggy was put through its paces for three weeks in Morocco. “Of course we detected several things that could be improved but throughout the three weeks of testing the buggy was never stopped by a technical problem – and that’s really remarkable. The biggest challenge was to manage this project without losing track of any detail.”
In further tests, the team continued the preparations of the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy for the big challenge represented by the Dakar Rally. “We are well aware of the fact that contesting an event with an all new vehicle can be risky,” admits Sven Quandt. “But we and the buggy are prepared for South America as well as possible for the time which has been available.”
MINI John Cooper Works Rally 2016
After very exciting and successful years with the MINI ALL4 Racing, the X-raid team presented the MINI John Cooper Works Rally! Based on the, 2016 launched, new MINI Countryman, the race vehicle was changed in numerous areas, with the headlights and the silhouette being adapted from the production car. Compared to its predecessor, the team’s new challenger had been enhanced in several areas: further developments made for a lowered centre of gravity, improvements of several performance features and improved drivability. The tubular steel frame was a new design and allowed for stowing a third spare wheel in the lower section of the car. With this move, the designers of the vehicle created the necessary room in the rear for placing the cooling system at a lower point. At the same time, the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally also represented a step forward when it came to the aerodynamics. To achieve this goal, the desert racer spent numerous hours in the BMW Group’s wind tunnel.
2017 the FIA altered the technical regulations for all-wheel drive cars: inter alia, the spring travel was extended and the minimum weight reduced. The engineers attended to every section of the MINI and succeeded in lowering the weight to the allowed minimum.
MINI ALL4 Racing 2010-2017
In December 2010, X-raid made a small sensation by suddenly presenting the MINI ALL4 Racing. In a very short period of time, the team had created the rally challenger based on the MINI Countryman. Once again, the cooperation with Magna Steyr, CP autosport and Faster proved to be flawless and on December 6th, the French pairing Guerlain Chicherit and Michel Périn entered the cockpit for the first rollout – just about 90 days after the start of the project. Stéphane Peterhansel secured the vehicle´s first win in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. 2012 the team celebrated its major breakthrough: Peterhansel won the Dakar! In den following three years the MINI ALL4 Racing was unbeatable in the legendary marathon rally.
In the beginning, all three spare wheels were placed in the rear of the vehicle. Later on two of the spare wheels where placed below the driver and navigator, to lower the centre of gravity and improve the drivability of the MINI.
BMW X3CC 2005-2011
A few years after the successful off-road rallying debut with the BMW X5 CC the team switched to the BMW X3 CC. On December 17th and 18th of 2004, the team and Magna Steyr – who had secured the deal to build the production version of the X3 – and BMW opted for building the new off-road rally vehicle. Götz Engineering and Heggemann undertook the task of designing the chassis, with Magna Steyr being responsible for the design of the suspension and body. There, the team also assembled the first BMW X3 CC and on August 17th at 02:45 AM, it drove out of the hall for the first time.
In the following years, the BMW X3 CC secured numerous wins and also became a very popular customer car. In addition to many individual successes in off-road rallies, the X3 CC secured several FIA World Cup titles for X-raid, won the 2011 Silk Way Rally and finished fourth in two Dakar Rallies.
BMW X5CC 2002-2005
When entering the cross-country sport, the BMW X5 was already a step ahead. Two years before its public launch in Geneva, the team already used BMW’s all-new twin-turbo diesel technology. And in addition, the team was provided with a BMW X5 body half a year before the car hit the market. This body was shipped from the USA to Germany to allow the team to mold the body parts. Later, these model parts were used to create a carbon-fibre skin to cover the vehicle’s space frame.
The chassis of the cross-country rallying version of the X5 was designed in Munich in cooperation with an engineering office, while the assembly of the car was executed at X-raid. “The chassis and the body work were supplied shortly before Christmas”, recalls Sven Quandt. “Following several months of build-up work, we travelled to Italia for our first tire test. And we made our debut at the Morocco Rally.” A short time later, the team celebrated its first win – in the Baja Germany and courtesy of Grégiore de Mévius.