Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome Back Prodrive

Our first look at Prodrive's new WRC Mini

Warwickshire, England. September 9, 2010. Prodrive, the automotive engineering gurus that took Subaru, who at the time were just a quirky Japanese car brand, and developed several of their sleepy AWD cars into legendary World Rally Cars, are back at it again.

After Prodrive’s announcement earlier this year regarding their partnership with BMW/MINI to develop the Mini for a return to the WRC circuit, rally fans around the world have been eagerly awaiting our first glimpse of the new Mini in Prodrive rally kit.
[Q] Can David Richards, and the Prodrive Group
bring the same success to Mini as they did with Subaru?
Only time will tell.

Today, as the WRC takes to the stages of Rally Japan, Prodrive released one grainy picture of their camera shy baby. The initial part of the car’s test and development programme had the engineering team driving the car over four days primarily on tarmac, but also on several kilometres of loose surfaces, at Prodrive’s low grip facility. The car is now ready to travel to Portugal for a week of testing on gravel.

“As with any totally new car, it is vital to take time to ensure all the systems are working as intended before embarking on a week long gravel test,” said David Lapworth, Prodrive technical director.

Clearly not done with the final look of the car, this first test car is running with an interim body and aero package, while design of the final World Rally Car bodywork is underway.

The next piece of the puzzle is: Who the heck will actually get to drive this latest Prodrive creation?