|SA-Dakar 2012: Quandt - "You won’t find many similarities with the BMW X3".|
Nearly exactly a year ago, Monster Energy X-raid surprised the cross-country scene with the launch of the Mini All4 Racing. Within just 90 days, the team had made an idea come true.
Right afterwards, the new car made its debut appearance in the 2011 Southamerica Dakar. Now, 12 months later, five German engineered X-raid Mini vehicles are on their way to South America.
But X-raid did not only up the ante regarding the quantity. At the same time, they increased the Mini’s competitiveness by numerous enhancements. While working on these enhancements, the engineers focused in particular on lowering the car’s centre of gravity.
To achieve this goal, the team moved the radiator and the fuel tank further down and widened the chassis. Another chassis enhancement resulted in a shorter bonnet and steeper ramp angle, allowing the Mini All4 Racing a straighter approach to steeper slopes.
At the same time, the plan to keep on slimming the car down to take it closer to the stipulated Minimum weight also was realised. At the end of the day, X-raid succeeded in reducing the weight of the Mini All4 Racing by massive 30 kg. Other components of the rally car also were enhanced. Following the experiences gained in the 2011 Dakar, the team changed - inter alia - the set-up of the shock absorbers.
Meanwhile, the ‘BMW Motoren GmbH’ engineers attended to the engine of the Mini and enhanced it by dint of updated software.
The stages in South America often take the competitors to heights of more than 2,000 metres above sea level and to be able to cope with these special conditions experienced in the event, X-raid tested the engine in a pressure chamber and simulated heights of up to 3,500 metres.
In addition, further enhancements implemented by the squad resulted in improved responsiveness and driveability of the Mini All4 Racing.
"You won’t find many similarities with the BMW X3CC, in the Mini All4 Racing vehicles we are going to contest the 2012 Dakar Rally with," underlined Team Manager Sven Quandt. "In the past months, it was turned into a truly self-contained vehicle."
Nonetheless, it has to be admitted that the petrol competition Team X-raid will have to battle it out with will be tough. The petrol vehicles were allowed to switch to a six-speed gearbox and increase the air-restrictor diameter to 34mm. "Consequently, our competitors will be - depending on the respective car - 10 to 20 kph faster than we," revealed Quandt.
2011/12/14 | 22:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/X-RAID