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Range Rover Evoque heads for the Dakar Rally

Sat, 24 Sep 2011

Range Rover Evoque Dakar Rally

Land Rover are pretty chuffed with the way the new Range Rover Evoque has been received; feedback from the trade is hugely positive and buyers are queueing up to grab the Evoque – even with its premium prices.

So the news that the British Excite Rally Raid Team will be running the Evoque in the Dakar rally will be a nice bit of off-road gloss to add to the street cred the Evoque already has in spades.

The Dakar Rally is the world’s toughest car competition, run over gruelling terrain between Paris and Dakar. Or at least it was until a few years ago when terrorist threats forced the organisers to de-camp to South America.

This 2012 Dakar will be run from Argentina, through Chile and on to Peru, a total of 9,000km from the shores of the Atlantic and on up to the shore of the Pacific in Lima, guided by the Andes on the way.

The route for the 2013 Dakar – which is where the Evoque-bodied rally cars will compete – hasn’t been announced yet, but it will likely be just as gruelling a test of cars as the 2012 Dakar, and run in South America.

Strictly speaking the Evoque the Excite mob will be using an Evoque body – so the car will look like an Evoque kitted out for the Dakar – but the oily bits come from BMW.

The BMW 3.0 litre turbo straight six diesel under the bonnet of the Evoque will deliver 273bhp and 479lb/ft of torque, with a six-speed ZF box and high/low range transfer case delivering power to the wheels, which are shod with BF Goodrich Desert Tyres.

The Evoques – there are three of them – have been built by veteran Dakar experts RaBe Race Cars and will be driven by Martin Rowe, John Hardy and Andrew Coley and come fitted with a 280 litre fuel tank to make sure even the longest stages can be done without refuelling.

And even if the power comes from BMW, any level of success for the Evoque-bodied Dakar cars will cast a warm glow across Evoque sales.

By Cars UK