Prodrive to build road-legal Dakar racer

Think of Dakar racers for the road and one car springs immediately to mind: the Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution. With very good reason, too. Well, now it looks like the ranks might be bolstered by any other rally raid weapon homologated for road use, because Autocar believes Prodrive is going to build some BRX T1s for civilians. Crikey.

David Richards has said in an interview with the magazine that cars will be built at Prodrive HQ in Banbury and that a prototype should be running by the end of 2021. It’s being pitched as a ‘desert hypercar’ which, quite frankly, sounds absolutely brilliant.

This new car – provisionally called ‘Hunter’ – will be no watered down equivalent for road use, either. For the BRX T1 competition vehicle, regulations dictated its Ford Ecoboost V6 must be capped at 400hp; with no such constraints for road use, somewhere in the region of 500hp is being predicted. And though concessions will have to be made for the public highway, including different wheels and tyres as well as a more accommodating interior, the BRX sold to the public is clearly still going to be very light.

Ian Callum remains involved, too, Richards asserting in the Autocar story that the former Jaguar designer and his team are working on how to translate the BRX from competition spec to road ready.

In other Prodrive news, it’s been announced the team will partner with Lewis Hamilton’s Extreme E outfit for the inaugural season. Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierez will be driving the 560hp Odyssey 21s of Hamilton’s team, with Prodrive in charge of keeping the cars ship-shape for the five-race season. David Richards – that man again – said of the announcement: “Extreme E is such an exciting and unique concept and I have been fascinated by the project ever since Alejandro [Agag] launched it almost two years ago. When Lewis then announced his interest in a team it was a great opportunity for Prodrive to help him realise his personal ambitions from the series.”

Plenty to be keeping Prodrive busy, then. With Prodrive’s off-road expertise and vehicle project that seems to combine Bowler and Singer Safari with the traditional supercar, the Hunter should be something the kind of which we haven’t seen before. We’ll keep eyes firmly peeled for that prototype later in the year, as well as the X44 Extreme E team. Those that want one of the cars should probably contact Prodrive – though don’t make the call without a million quid to your name…

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