A new Mini Crossover model is expected to be delivered to Prodrive's UK workshops before the end of the year, as rumours about a World Rally Championship program continue.

It is understood that Prodrive will will take charge of Mini's return to rallying, with BMW expected to make a formal announcement in April about plans to contest the WRC from 2011 onwards. The source stated to Motorsport News in the UK that Prodrive had completed the preliminary design work on the car.

"We've made no secret of the fact we want to get back into the WRC. We are in discussions with manufacturers but confidentiality agreements mean we can't say who they are," a spokesperson for Prodrive said.

"We've got a team of engineers who haven't been sitting still and have been looking  at the generic design concepts which can be applied to different manufacturers."

There have also been rumours linking Australian Chris Atkinson to the program. Atkinson has also been heavily linked to a full WRC program in 2010 in a team run by the American, Ken Block. That deal would see Atkinson driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Focus RS WRC, with backing from Monster Energy Drink.

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