Legendary rally specialist Prodrive is set to build a fully road legal version of its BRX Dakar Rally Raid car for general sale, with a prototype slated for the end of this year.
The Prodrive name is well known across most disciplines of motorsport, but perhaps its more enduring association is the one with Subaru. This relationship lasted for almost 20 years, and Prodrive ran all three cars which secured the World Rally Championship titles for Colin McRae (1995), Richard Burns (2001), and Petter Solberg (2003). More recently, Prodrive prepared the Subaru WRX which smashed the Isle of Man TT lap record for cars.
Prodrive, based in Banbury in the UK, turned its attentions to the Dakar Rally in 2020, building its own vehicle to compete in the car category of the famous endurance rally raid event. The four-wheel drive machine, called the BRX T1 — for Bahrain Rally Extreme, and the T1 car class — features a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged Ford V6 similar to the one you’d find in the F-150 SVT Raptor, but further developed by Prodrive itself.
Considering the car made its racing debut in the Dakar Rally in January, a fifth-place overall finish for the lead car of Nani Roma and Alexandre Winocq was a pretty solid showing, while the second car of Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena retired after eight of the 12 stages.
For the customer car, seemingly called Hunter, Prodrive will make some changes from the spartan rally raid machine. Speaking to Autocar, Prodrive founder and CEO David Richards confirmed that there’d be a “more comfortable” interior and a new gearbox more suited to road use, and that without the power limit set by the Dakar regulations the car would be running at around 500hp, compared to 400hp for the competition car. Richards commented:
“Nobody’s ever done a car like it before. Imagine a road car capable of going across the sand dunes at 100mph – and keep doing it for 300 miles because the fuel tank is so big. It’s going to be quite exciting.”
In addition, the Hunter is set to making a gaming debut soon. Prodrive recently posted an image of the car on social media in the middle of what looks to be an audio recording session, alongside the comment “coming to a game console near you”:
Coming to a game console near you.. the Prodrive Hunter mic'd up and ready to roll. pic.twitter.com/c25ncbi6TZ
— Prodrive (@prodrive) March 23, 2021
Although Prodrive wouldn’t be drawn on what game will feature the Hunter, it did say the digital debut would likely be later this year. There are of course a number of candidate titles which the Hunter could feature in, with Forza Horizon 4 and DIRT 5 both high up the list. Bigmoon Entertainment is also working on Dakar 21, a sequel to its Dakar 18 game and official video game of the Dakar Rally.