We’ve seen Mini Coopers do some pretty impressive stunts before — conducting high-speed parallel parking jobs as well being the launch vessel for a wingsuit athlete off a cliff — but it appears the car has been taught a new and perhaps more impressive trick.
It can flip.
As shown in the YouTube video posted by the automaker Sunday, the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV makes a world first “unassisted” backflip in Tignes, France, thanks to the work of driver Guerlain Chicherit.
Watch the impressive stunt:
The Christian Science Monitor has more on what this “unassisted” part means:
Skilled drivers like Rhys Millen have completed backflips in cars before (sometimes miffing the landing), but with the aid of special ramps with special moving elements to boost the car’s rotational movement necessary to complete the stunt.
For his take-off, Chicherit used a static ramp similar to those used by skiers. With the ideal ramp breakover angle in place, the 34-year-old needed only two other things to record a successful attempt: an extremely light touch with the accelerator and a MINI with a suitably buoyant suspension setup.
This footage from AFP gives a little more of a behind the scenes look: