Excellent condition - no dents,mechanical problems, dings or accidents Low Miles - only 3350
2011 - Mini Countryman on 2040-cars
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Auto blogFri, 12 Oct 2012 13:29:00 EST
There was a fair bit of hullabaloo two years ago when Mini announced a return to the World Rally Championship for this season, but the road to making that happen has been as rocky as a gravel stage. It spent 2011 developing its JCW Countryman WRC challenger, changing its mind about how it wanted to work with Prodrive, dumped a driver due to budget issues, then registering its entry after the deadline had passed in a ploy that might or might not have been a protest aimed at the WRC promoter.
Mini had stated that it wanted to win the whole championship in 2013, and spent 2011 doing six WRC rounds as development. As it stands for this year, the WRC Team Mini Portugal - paid for by Mini, run by ProDrive - scored 26 points in the first rally at Monte Carlo and has so far blanked the rest of the season. The relationship between Mini and ProDrive appeared to be an ever-contentious affair, at the end of this season, even the money will dry up along with what support there was.
Because it contested every race in the calendar, though, Mini says it has completed the FIA requirements for homologation of the JCW Countryman WRC; meaning that privateers can continue purchasing the car and run it in the WRC. BMW Motorsport is continuing development and parts supply of the 1.6-liter turbo engine, and a report in Autosport indicates that ProDrive will continue to run Minis in the series next year.
While watching Apple introduce iOS in the Car during its WWDC keynote on Monday, we wondered how automakers, even the 14 who've already signed up to integrate this new in-car functionality of iOS 7, will feel about having the Cupertino company's mobile operating system supplant their own in-car systems. After all, some OEMs like Ford, General Motors and many luxury automakers have sunk millions of dollars into developing their own advanced infotainment, navigation and communication platforms like MyFord Touch, CUE and older systems like iDrive.
One automaker has now spoken up. A BMW spokeperson was interviewed by someone in the news department of British auto dealer group Arnold Clark and confirmed that the company would not be getting in line to integrate iOS in the Car anytime soon. The reason, as we suspected, is that BMW believes its own products developed over the last decade are both plenty good and already so deeply integrated with other systems of the car that, as told to Arnold Clark, "it would not be that straightforward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]."
While BMW isn't interested in spending more money to integrate Apple's services and functionality over its own, it has spent a good bit already to integrate iPhone functionality in its cars, including the relatively rare ability to support iPod Out and display Apple's own interface on Mini models with the optional Mini Connected feature, as well as committing to integrate Siri 'Eyes Free' functionality.
Motor racing is often overcome by dominant forces. In Formula One these days, it's all about Red Bull. Le Mans is absolutely dominated by Audi. Citroën devastated the World Rally Championship for years. And the Dakar Rally is no exception to that particular rule, either.
The Mitsubishi Pajero won the event seven years in a row and many times before that. Then Volkswagen took the lead, winning three years running with competition-spec Touaregs once the rally shifted from North Africa to South America in 2009. But these days it's Mini that dominates.
The Mini All4 Racing team won in 2012, again in 2013 and has just won it again for 2014. Not only did it win again, but it took a devastating 1-2-3 finish to lock out the podium. Over the course of 13 days, Minis won 11 out of 13 of the total stages that make up the grueling rally, at the end of which Nasser Al-Attiyah crossed the line in third, Stéphane Peterhansel finished second, and just five minutes ahead of him, Nani Roma crossed the finish line in Valparaíso in first place. (Of course it didn't hurt that there were no fewer than 11 Minis entered in this year's rally, but still.)