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Range Rover Evoque rally car: the Desert Warrior 3

Thu, 08 Nov 2012

It was only a matter of time before someone took the slammed and attitudinal Range Rover Evoque and turned it into a rally raid vehicle capable of competing in the Dakar.

The new Desert Warrior 3 is the result: a rally racer powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel, tuned to produce between 275-300bhp depending on event restrictions, and a whole host of serious off-roading equipment to transform this from road to race car.

Range Rover Evoque rally car: the lowdown

Made by British race outfit Rabe Race Cars, the Desert Warrior 3 is designed to compete in the FIA's T3 championship for rally raid events.

That twin-turbodiesel, which weighs 135kg, musters a stout 627lb ft of torque to keep it going through sand dunes and harsh terrain. It's a far cry from the likely battle ground for most Evoques around the Waitrose car park.

How do they transform the Evoque from road to rally car?

This is a silhouette racer: there's a new, bespoke chassis made from T45 tubes for extra strength while pounding over the dunes, and the transmission is a six-speed sequential 'box.

And to give it the range to compete in the Dakar, it has a massive 260-litre fuel tank for a 750-mile range. The suspension is completely new, featuring eight Reiger coilovers and it rides on 16-inch Compomotive Atacama Rally Raid wheels shod in BF Goodrich Desert Race G series. A bit tougher than your average run-flats.

The Desert Warrior 3 pictured here was delivered to Poole-based Excite Rallye Raid Team, which is now involved in shakedown tests before its competition debut.

Mike Jones of RaBe said: 'Just about everything on the car is bespoke, but of the OEM parts we do use, a very high proportion are from Land Rover. It took Volkswagen hundreds of millions of euros and five years to win the Dakar, but being British we will do things our own way. Mark my words: we have produced a winning car!'

By Tim Pollard