Mini isn’t the first automaker one would associate with off-road adventuring, but for X-raid, it was the perfect brand. Using its years of experience running the Dakar Rally, X-raid designed an off-road package for the Mini Countryman that increases its ground clearance, toughens the tyres, and adds an assortment of other off-road goodies.
The Mini Countryman by X-raid comes with a two-centimetre (0.78-inch) suspension lift and larger tyres, which equates to an overall increase in ground clearance of up to four centimetres (1.57 inches). It’s a modest lift, but even the tiniest increase can help the car overcome rough terrain and obstacles. X-raid uses “more robust rims” that pair with tyres that sport higher sidewalls. The company also adds a rim ring to protect the wheels and tyres from additional damage.
The aluminium roof rack and additional LED headlights in the grille really complete the Countryman’s off-road appearance. It’s a subtle upgrade that stands out with the piano black accents from Mini combined with X-raid’s orange touches.
Gallery: Mini Countryman by X-Raid
X-raid, which has won the Dakar Rally five times, learned a lot while preparing the rally cars for the gruelling race. The company also learned a lot from its service fleet that would transport team members during the event. X-raid first used the Mini Countryman a decade ago, and ever since, the team has continued to modify and improve its off-road capability.
X-raid offers its off-road Mini accessories as a whole package, though they are available as individual parts, too. The company doesn’t offer any pricing information, though you can contact them for that. This isn’t the most robust off-road package you can get for the Mini, but it’s a few nice touches that go a long way in making the car’s off-road driving experience much better. You won’t climb mountains, but you’ll go places.
Dakar feeling at home: The MINI Countryman powered by X-raid
X-raid is happy to introduce a special off-road package for the MINI Countryman. At the heart of the package is an increase of the ground clearance of up to four centimetres and the off-road rims. Additional features and a design package complete the off-road feel. The MINI Countryman powered by X-raid is the result of thousands of kilometres as a support car to the five-time Dakar winner at the Dakar Rally.
The MINI Countryman powered by X-raid is well-equipped for adventurers. The increase of ground clearance of up to four centimetres is achieved through a combination of a two-centimetre body lift kit and larger rims and tyres combination. X-raid uses the more robust rims, together with tyres with a higher sidewall to avoid tyre damage. Furthermore, a rim ring is used and therefor it is not necessary to replace the complete rim in case of having a damage. At the same time, this also makes it possible to conceal the height of the tyres.
Additional LED headlights allow better vision in the dark on rough terrain. The lightweight, aluminium roof rack ensures there is space for everything you need on an escape from the daily grind. With the design package, consisting of MINI Piano Black elements and orange X-raid design accents, the MINI Countryman powered by X-raid really stands out in a crowd.
The whole package, or individual elements, can be requested at email@example.com.
Experience and learnings from the Dakar Rally
X-raid can call on a wealth of experience gained during many appearances at the iconic desert rally. The five-times Dakar winners not only gained this experience when preparing the rally cars themselves: the service fleet, which transports team members from one bivouac to the next, also covers thousands of kilometres – often on poor road conditions. X-raid first used the MINI Countryman in 2010. In the years since, the car has been continuously modified to cope with the specific challenges it faces.
While the service cars do usually travel on public roads during the Dakar, they are not always in good condition. Potholes and gravel stretches are part and parcel of the event and have posed a number of challenges for X-raid. In order to avoid damage on the poor roads, and to improve drivability, the team has increased the ride height of the MINI Countryman.
When crossing the Andes between Argentina and Chile, the service cars travelled hundreds of kilometres on gravel routes with sharp-edged stones. These repeatedly resulted in punctures, and a tyre change at over 4,000 metres above sea level was literally a breath-taking task for the crew. More robust tyres and rims allowed X-raid to get to grips with this problem.
The MINI Countryman was again part of the X-raid team for the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, where it was witness to victory number five for the X-raid team and a maiden Dakar success for the MINI JCW Buggy.