More than 50 engineers from X-Raid, the manufacturer of the Mini of the Dakar, have participated in the design and creation of the John Cooper Works Buggy, the two-wheel drive with which the British brand wants to recover the lost ‘touareg’ trophy during the Peugeot era. This car has just over a year of experience, it was validated in February 2017 and it was not presented until November, before its first Dakar which was not very satisfactory due to the accidents and problems of Menzies, Hirvonen and Al-Rajhi, its three pilots
Since then, many external collaborators have participated in the project, such as the 2006 Dakar champion, Luc Alphand, who piloted him in international events. However, the great jump in quality in terms of benefits has come during the summer of 2018, with Carlos Sainz as part of the project. The support of Carlos during the development of the buggy has taken us ahead in terms of set-up, “says Sven Quandt, the head of X-Raid, with the Spaniard in the tests, as already counted As, the buggy has cut close to three seconds per pass in the reference sections used in Morocco.
The manufacturing period of the cars piloted by Sainz, Peterhansel and Despres lasts a month and involves seven people: three mechanics, two engineers, a manufacturer and a person in charge of electronics, carbon and undercarriages. The multi-tubular chassis, designed by the team and executed in CP Autosport, follows the T1 Dakar standard. In Faster, France, adapts the body of plastic, carbon fiber and kévlar.
The engine is a derivation of the BMW 50d, a diesel monoturbo that surpasses the 300 CV of power modified for the competition with an electronics established by the own mark. They premiere before the Dakar to be used throughout the season and it is coupled with the gearbox developed by a specialist, X-Trac, six-speed and sequential.
From that moment on, the assembly of steering, transmissions, suspensions and brakes begins, in addition to the electrical and hydraulic systems, developed by X-Raid at its headquarters in Trebur, Germany. In November they embarked in Le Havre, bound for Lima, where they are already resting. From next Monday, this engineering work is put to the test.
Each unit of the John Cooper Works Buggy needs a month of manufacture. “Carlos’ support has taken us through the set-up,” says Sven Quandt.