Prodrive, the company behind some of the world’s most successful rally cars, has turned its Dakar Rally racer into a road car.
The Prodrive Hunter has been dubbed the “world’s first all-terrain hypercar” by its creators, with power from a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine making more than 447kW and 700Nm.
That’s up 50 per cent on the engine in the race version, because the road car isn’t constrained by regulations. Prodrive says the 100km/h sprint takes around four seconds, and flat out you’ll be doing almost 300km/h… on chunky 35-inch tyres, in a car that can store 480 litres of fuel.
All that grunt is sent to the road – or desert, ice, snow, grass – through a six-speed paddle shift transmission, rather than the sequential manual transmission of the racer.
The car is built around a high-tensile space frame chassis, and there are double wishbones at all four corners with 400mm of travel. Again, that’s more than the competition car offers, to “give a smoother ride and even greater ability to cross the roughest terrain at speeds unimaginable in any other vehicle”.
Hiding behind the wheels are six-pot racing brake calipers and ventilated discs.
Inside, the cabin has a proper racing seat and six-point harnesses, and the driver is faced with a digital dashboard offering all the key information. It does feature some creature comforts such as sound deadening, and the fuel cell can be shrunken to make space for luggage.
“We took the deliberate decision to keep the Hunter Hypercar as close to the original as possible,” said Prodrive chairman, David Richards.
“It’s about giving owners the opportunity to experience what it is like to drive Loeb’s Dakar car across the desert, but with all the comforts of a road car and the ability to drive it from your home, through a city, to any destination of your choice.”
Just 25 will be built, each priced at £1.25m ($A2.25).