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Prodrive Hunter is a 450kW Dakar Rally machine for the road

Published Mar 17, 2022

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By: Double Apex

Driving legend Sebastien Loeb has competed in recent editions of the Dakar Rally in a machine called the Hunter T1/T1+. Rally specialists Prodrive conceptualised and created this bespoke machine. This week the company pulled the wraps off a production Hunter hypercar that is heavily based on the racecar.

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The race-ready version of this car is a capable machine. It has claimed many stage wins on the gruelling off-road race. The production Hunter hypercar (their description, not ours) is even more potent than its racing counterpart as it does not have to conform to a rulebook. The Hunter has been designed to fly over desert sand, dunes and rough mountain tracks like many recent creations (such as this off-roading 959-esque machine).

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Power from the twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 has been lifted to over 450kW, a 50 per cent increase over the race machine. Peak torque in the production Hunter hypercar has also been raised, to 700Nm.

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Prodrive estimates that these outputs would give it a 0-100 km/h time of less than four seconds. Top speed is rated as nearly 300 km/h and the motor is fed by a 480-litre tank.

The racecar’s engine, drivetrain and suspension have been retained. However, the manual sequential gearbox has been replaced by a six-speed paddle shift system to improve user-friendliness.

Double wishbones with twin adjustable dampers are employed at each corner. The set-up has 400 mm of travel, this is an additional 50 mm when compared to Loeb’s Dakar steed. All wheels are fitted with six pot brake calipers and vented discs.

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The interior has been rejigged to appear more like a high-end performance machine. A digital display sits ahead of the driver and the centre console houses more regular car controls. Race seats fitted with multi-point harnesses hold the two occupants in place.

The price of this bundu-bashing creation is R25 million and that’s before you import it into SA. Customers in the Middle East are being offered an opportunity to drive the car first, which does surprise us.

The Hunter is the product of over 40 years of successful off-road competition at Prodrive.

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Company chairman, David Richards, said: “There are numerous hypercars on the market, however they all need good roads or even racetracks to show their performance.

“We identified that in certain parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, there are vast expanses still to be explored that go way beyond the access provided by asphalt roads. Therefore why not create a vehicle that gives the opportunity to explore these regions with performance way beyond that offered by any off-road vehicle before.”

Story courtesy of Double Apex

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