If you've been around British cars any time at all, you've probably seen images of Minis competing in in classic rally events such as the Rally Monte Carlo with such luminaries as Paddy Hopkirk and Timo Makinen behind the wheel. The Minis won the Rally Monte Carlo three times in the 1960s (it would have been 4 barring some subterfuge by the mostly French officials) earning themselves a place in motoring history.
Today's' World Rally Championship tour is contested by various Peugeots, European Fords and Skodas on courses throughout the world. MINI has not been a competitor in the modern era - until now.
Prodrive - a UK based tuning and competition group has been contracted to turn MINI's new Countryman four door off-roader into a World Rally contender. This four wheel drive model will be hitting US showrooms late this year.
Here's a video shot during testing of the MINI WRC car in Portugal.
Don't tell anyone, but the new Countryman is built in Austria...