Saturday, September 24, 2011
Range Rover Evoque readies for Dakar with BMW power
More than 9,000 km in 14 days in extremely demanding conditions: this is the world-renowned Dakar Rally in which every year hundreds of competitors strive not just for the win, but for a chance to cross the finish line having lived an outstanding experience in the most prestigious off-road race on earth.
The British Excite Rally Raid Team will race three cars commissioned by RaBe Race Cars and driven by an all-British line-up consisting of Martin Rowe, Andrew Coley and John Hardy. And if the photo reminds you of something, you are right: the T3 race car’s body shell is that of the brand-new Range Rover Evoque.
However, power will come from a BMW 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six diesel pumping out 275HP and 650Nm (479.4 lb-ft) of peak torque. A ZF 6-speed transmission will transfer power to the wheel that are dressed in BF Goodrich desert tires.
“We’ve been working on this project for a long time”, said the team’s business manager David Jones. “We were approached by a manufacturer, RaBe Race Cars, whose staff has been around the sport for a long time. Seeing our professional approach, they asked if we could work together. We have goals we can assist each other with, so we have now set our sights a bit higher.”
Mike Jones of RaBe Race Cars commented: “We have years of off-road motorsport experience at every level, from club to international works teams. The last 15 years have been devoted to Desert raging and achieving top honors at Dakar. It is little known, but we have built cars for many other teams who race under their own colors and logos.”