LONDON: Excite Rallye Raid Team will enter the gruelling Dakar Rally in 2013 with three rally-prepped Range Rover Evoque.
The vehicles will be equipped with a BMW-sourced 3.0-litre diesel engine producing 275hp and 650Nm of torque. They will also be outfitted with a Reiger coil-over suspension and 16-inch wheels with BF Goodrich desert racing tyres. Relaying the power is a six-speed ZF transmission with a two-speed transfer case.
The three specially commissioned vehicles from RaBe Race Cars will be driven by Martin Rowe, John Hardy and Andrew Coley.
Excite Rallye Raid is the only professional, all-British Dakar Rally team to be entering the Dakar Rally.
It is currently in partnership talks with several global brands, but the team is hoping to be backed by a British sponsor to round off the all-British package. The team is based in Poole, a coastal town 160km south-west of here.
RaBe Race Cars have built cars for many other teams who race under their own colours and logos.
"In fact we have a family motorsport tree that is celebrating its 100th anniversary of continuous motorsport involvement in 2012," said Mike Jones of RaBe Race Cars.
"The last 15 years have been devoted to desert racing and achieving not just a finish but top honours at Dakar," he said, adding that the partnership with the Excite Rally Raid Team was part of its desire to hone its skills.
Of the rallying Evoque RaBe Race Cars has named D4_WN5, Jones said it is a "serious Dakar car", having undergone four years of testing and development.
"The five prototypes have already competed at three different Dakars, achieving a mechanical finish reliability rate of 100%."
The Dakar Rally is internationally recognised as the world's most challenging motorsport event, followed by millions globally on TV and throughout the media.
On the event, hundreds of competitors cover in excess of 9,000 km in 14 days over some of the world's most hostile environment.