“The idea of building a buggy had been around for a long time”, reveals Sven Quandt, “at the end of 2016 the idea took shape and in February 2017 the project was launched.” In total, more than 50 X-raid engineers and numerous partners worked on the new buggy. At the beginning of September, less than seven months after the start of the project, the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy covered its first kilometres during the roll-out at X-raid headquarters in Trebur.


In the following seasons, the new family member was further developed and improved – the buggy became faster, lighter and more drivable. All the hard work paid off in January 2020: Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz clinched the fifth Dakar victory in Saudi Arabia for X-raid on the MINI JCW Buggy.



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.



The Dakar 2021 represented another milestone in the history of X-raid: for the first time, the team lined up with a project outside the T1 category (prototype cars). In cooperation with Yamaha, an SxS car capable of tackling the Dakar was developed and assembled, based on the Yamaha YXZ1000R side-by-side.


The four-wheel drive Yamaha YXZ1000R Rally prototype was designed to meet various different demands, including offering newcomers to the sport an affordable and, above all, race-ready alternative.

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