Illustration for article titled Prodrive Is Building A Street-Legal Version Of Its Dakar Racer

Image: Prodrive

Back in January the Prodrive Hunter made its competition debut in the 2021 running of the Dakar Rally, where it finished fifth overall with Spanish legend Nani Roma at the wheel. The rally didn’t go off without a hitch, but for a first effort that was a commendable one, to be sure. And now the legendary car builders at Prodrive will be turning this desert racer into a road legal off-road hypercar, according to Autocar.

The Hunter brought together some legends of the automotive world, with body design by Ian Callum and chassis work by Prodrive. Roma drove one Hunter, while Sebastien Loeb helmed the other. The class in which the Hunter raced uses a smaller tire which is more susceptible to punctures, and indeed Loeb was forced to bow out of the Dakar as he ran out of his tire allotment, and over the course of the event the two Prodrive cars suffered more than two dozen flats. Thankfully that tire is being pitched for 2022, and will be replaced with a more durable unit.

In race spec, the car ran a Ford-derived 3.5-liter ecoboost V6 with 400 horsepower. The road-legal car will actually have more power, stated around 500, without the race classification’s restrictions. Aside from that, the street car will be largely the same “Ferrari of the desert” design that Callum and Prodrive built, with largely the same suspension, structure, and dimensions as the competition version.

The main difference for the street version is that it will have a more sophisticated transmission for well-heeled users who wouldn’t put up with that much gear noise in a car which is expected to retail for a million pounds. Obviously the road car will also be fitted with a full interior, rather than a race-ready stripper version for the desert. It’ll probably have less sand in it, too. At least for a little while.

“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,” Said David Richards, Prodrive boss man. “It’s going to be quite exciting.”