Desert, sand, gravel, mud, heat, cold, altitudes of more than 3,500 metres above sea level – and all this combined with not a lot of sleep in a bivouac were the noise never dies, while being pressed for time and nevertheless having to do a perfect job. What sounds like a nightmare for some is just the daily routine for the X-raid team during the two Dakar weeks. For X-raid, this event is the highlight of the year. The Dakar Rally is the goal the entire team has been working for throughout the year. And so, X-raid again and again succeeds in advancing to new dimensions –not only through technology but also with passion and commitment.
With the vehicles designed and built in Trebur, X-raid secured four consecutive Dakar wins and a total of 10 world-cup titles. In addition to these triumphs, X-raid impressed with another outstanding achievement: In the past five years, nearly all MINI ALL4 Racing pairings made it to the finish line. In 2014, for instance, every one of the 11 MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles. crossed the finish line at Valparaiso, Chile. In several sleepless nights the team even rebuilt cars that seemingly weren’t repairable. It didn’t matter if the car was 30th or battling it out at the front end of the grid.
From the beginning, Sven Quandt and X-raid wanted to enhance themselves and their cars challenge their competitors with new ideas and concepts. After the foundation, in 2002, Sven Quandt was the first to contest the Dakar with a team relying on a German car at the Dakar 2003.The BMW X5 already featured the new twin-turbo technology that was not publicly launched until later, at the Geneva Motor Show.
In 2005, the BMW X5 was replaced by the BMW X3 that helped X-raid winning several World Cup titles. The next big step was the introduction of the MINI ALL4 Racing at the Dakar 2011 after a construction time of only a few weeks. This rally car did not only capture the emotions of the fans but also stepped into a new dimension of serviceability. The outer body shell could be disassembled in just four minutes, thus making working on other parts or replacing them far easier. In the 2014 season, X-raid engineers and partners jointly succeeded in moving two of the spare wheels from the rear to the area below driver and navigator, hence making for a clearly lower centre of gravity.
This year X-raid again starts into a new era. After six years with the MINI ALL4 Racing, which provided the team from Trebur with four Dakar wins and five World Cup titles, X-raid will now attack with the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally.