Life Motoring

Prodrive reveals off-road hypercar

  • April 14, 2022
  • 3 min read
Prodrive reveals off-road hypercar

Rallying has been one of the most popular forms of motorsport around and it was a matter of time before we would once again see a road-going rally car that you can buy. Prodrive has made a name for itself with racing on rough terrain. It has developed some of the greatest rally cars of all time and now, finally, it has revealed its own creation.

The Hunter is a 600bhp, supercar that’s designed to keep going even when the road has ended.

“Born out of the Bahrain Raid Xtreme competition car driven by nine-time World Champion, Sebastien Loeb,” the company says, “to compete on the toughest motorsport race in the world the Dakar, it thrives in the desert sand, dunes and rough mountain tracks.”

Prodrive says that the Hunter is “even more extreme” than the racer on which it’s based. Its 3.5-litre V6 engine sees a 50% increase in power and greater suspension travel allows it to take on the harshest terrain.

But it also promises better refinement. Ian Callum, the legendary Jaguar designer who was responsible for the styling of the original, returned to the project to help create an interior more in line with everyday use rather than racing. A digital display gives the driver all the information they need, while the centre console houses the more traditional controls you would expect to find in a road car.

Power is up from the competition car as the twin-turbo motor now makes 600bhp and 700 Nm of torque. That’s because road cars don’t have to comply with the same strict limitations as race cars. But the car also claims to deliver that oomph more smoothly, making it easier to drive. It goes to all four wheels with a six-speed paddle shift that is said to offer smoother gear changes in just milliseconds.

This results in a claimed 0-100kph (62mph) acceleration of under four seconds and a top speed of almost 300kph (188mph). And putting that power down will be 35” off-road tyres designed to maximise grip on rough terrain and sand rather than tarmac. The suspension has also seen upgrades. Each corner now has over 400mm of travel, 350mm more than the competition car. This means a smoother ride as well as a greater ability to cross the roughest terrains at speeds few vehicles could manage.

To stop this monster are six-pot racing brake callipers and vented discs that should work as well both on and off-road. And the entire car is built around a high tensile steel space frame chassis, providing both rigidity and an FIA standard safety cage to protect the occupants, while carbon composites help keep weight down. 

The first development vehicles are touring the Middle East and customers are being given a chance to drive it and confirm their personal specifications. Production cars will be delivered later in 2022.

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Fahad Redha

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