Excite To Tackle Dakar With Desert Warrior 3

Excite To Tackle Dakar With Desert Warrior 3

Just the Facts:
  • Britain's Excite Rallye Raid Team will contest the 2013 Dakar Rally.
  • The team will field the Desert Warrior 3, a RaBe Race Cars creation with a Range Rover Evoque body.
  • The car is powered by a BMW turbodiesel engine.

POOLE, England — Britain's Excite Rallye Raid Team will compete in the 2013 Dakar Rally in the new Desert Warrior 3, a purpose-built off-road racing car built by RaBe Race Cars under the skin of a Range Rover Evoque.

More precisely, the debut for what is billed as Britain's first professional off-road rally team will include three of the cars, officially labeled D4 WN5 by builder RaBe.

The first of the cars was delivered Thursday.

"I'm really pleased with the new car," Excite Team Principal John Hardy said. "Sometimes manufacturers lose something between the initial concept and the real-world, finished version. Not this time. The vehicle has a real presence. It's very well put together, it's strong and it's rugged. And it looks the business!"

Hardy, Martin Rowe and Andrew Coley will drive the three cars as the team takes on the challenge of the 34th running of the Dakar, formerly the Paris-Dakar Rally, but contested for the past four years on the South American continent after problems stemming from terrorist- and bandit-related violence and threats to competitors, spectators and others involved in the event.

The 2008 running of the event was canceled and promoter Amaury Sport Organization relocated it after that.

The 2013 Dakar Rally will originate in Lima, Peru, and will run down the Pacific Coast to Santiago, Chile, with an excursion across the Andes Mountains into Argentina along the nearly 5,000-mile route from the starting ceremony January 5 to the conclusion January 20.

The Desert Warrior 3 is powered by a 3.0-liter BMW turbocharged inline-6 diesel engine rated at more than 275 horsepower. A ZF six-speed sequential-shift transmission delivers power through a dual-range transfer case to all four wheels.

The car is designed to carry three spare wheels and tires and 69 gallons of fuel, giving it a range of nearly 750 miles.

Edmunds says: Just finishing Dakar, never mind knocking four-time Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel off the top of the podium, will be a formidable task.

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