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Chrysler performance division SRT Motorsports is building a very special Dodge Dart rally car for the 2012 Global RallyCross championship - a six-race series which can perhaps best be described as rally cars racing on motocross circuits, hence the name.
Which is why it makes sense that the car will be driven by four time Rally America champion Travis Pastrana, a former multiple motocross and supercross champion.
Pastrana said: “When I first heard about RallyCross, I was really interested, and after watching some of the rounds last year and then actually competing at X Games I was hooked!
The RallyCross Dart has a specially built two-litre, 16-valve turbopetrol engine, kincking out 445kW and more than 750Nm, driving all four wheels through a Sedav all-wheel drive transmission.
“The on-track action can be brutal.”
Engineering head David Bailey said RallyCross was tough on both cars and drivers.
“The cars are jumping higher than ever, flying up to 20 metres over each other and landing safely,” he said.
“We've kept the Dart rally car as light as possible so, with 445kW available, 0-100km/h times are incredible - around 2 seconds!”
SRT boss Ralph Gilles said Pastrana was a perfect fit for the RallyCross programme.
“He's proved that he can handle just about anything with wheels, so it's going to be great to watch him pilot our new Dodge Dart in Global RallyCross.”
The series, now in its second year, is a spin-off of the X Games rally races. It comprises seven meetings at closed-course rally tracks with bumper-to-bumper racing between 445kW all-wheel rally cars and includes 20-metre jumps over racing traffic.
The series will start on May 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and conclude on September 29 in Las Vegas. Also included will be races at the X Games scheduled for June 30-July 1 in Los Angeles.