Range Rover Evoque Desert Warrior Heads to Dakar

Dakar Rally

With a 69-gallon tank, 479 pound-feet of torque and desert tires, the luxury crossover is ready to take on the 5,600-mile Dakar Rally.

The Excite Rallye Raid Team will be the only squad flying the flag for Britain at the 2013 Dakar Rally, and this is the car(or rather truck) they'll be driving: a Range Rover Evoque, transformed into the ultimate rally racer by RaBe Race Cars. The Desert Warrior 3 is powered by a 3.0-liter BMW turbodiesel rated at 271 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque mated to a ZF six-speed automatic. It's been fitted with 16" Compomotive Atacama wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich desert tires and fitted to a Reiger coilover suspension.

A 69-gallon fuel tank should give it a driving range of around 750 miles. A rebound control valve detects if the wheels are grounded, and a corner control valve detects if it is cornering or going straight. The resulting vehicle weighs 1,900 kg and satisfies the FIA's new T3 regulations. "The vehicle has a real presence. It's very well put-together, it's strong and rugged," said Hardy. "The thought and attention to detail is mind-blowing; all the dials are at eye level, all the switches are where they need to be and the space in the cockpit will be critical as we'll be spending hours strapped in!"

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Ahead of the grueling 5,600-mile event, the team led by professional British driver John Hardy took the satin black Evoque rally raid-machine to Holland for a two-day shakedown. Check out the action in the video clip below.


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