The Dakar Rally is well-known for its punishing terrain which will put a great deal of stress on both car and driver. But the partnership between Germany’s X-Raid and the MINI ALL4 Racing proved successful as they secured the first three spots in the 2014 edition of the Dakar Rally, which saw Spanish driver Joan ‘Nani’ Roma taking first place.
Having won the event back in 2004 on a motorcycle, Roma almost lost to another driver from the X-Raid MINI ALL4 Racing Stephane Peterhansel. The French driver has 11 Dakar wins under his belt, finished just 5:32 behind the Spaniard.
“It was my big goal to win the Dakar not only on a motorbike but also in a car. A dream came true for me and I want to thank everybody at X-Raid and MINI for their great work”, said Roma after the rally.
The 2014 Dakar Rally was one of the most challenging in its history. Taking the challengers through a 9372-kilometer route, they started the rally from Rosario, Argentina across the Andes and the treacherous Atacama desert to Valparaiso, Chile.
Although the MINI ALL4 Racing looks pretty similar to a MINI Cooper Countryman, it is actually built around a custom-built chassis, powered by a BMW Motorsport-developed diesel engine. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine pushes out 310-horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and the car has a top speed of about 180 km/h.