Prodrive Cooks Up a Road-Legal Version of Sébastien Loeb’s Dakar Rally Racer

Photos: Prodrive

Earlier this year, Prodrive prepared a hardcore desert racer for the infamous Dakar Rally’s new T1+ class that was ultimately piloted to second place by nine-time WRC champ and French rally legend Sébastien Loeb. Fast forward only a few short months to today, and the British engineering and motorsport firm has now revealed images of a road-legal — yet just as off-road-capable — version of the T1+ racer known simply as the Hunter.

A street-legal vehicle based on the competition machine that Top Gear described as being “part world rally car, part tank,” the Hunter is remarkably similar to the T1+ racer, though several modifications and creature comforts have been added to the previously spartan race cabin to make the off-roader more luxurious and easier to live with. Far more refined than the T1+ racer, the Hunter’s interior now sports a digital display, a nav system, dual fire extinguishers, and carbon fiber seats with six-point harnesses. Boasting a 50% boost in power over the race vehicle that it’s based on, the Hunter packs a front-mid-placed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged dry-sump V6 engine that’s now mated to a paddle-shifted six-speed transmission in place of the Dakar racer’s sequential unit — a powertrain that ultimately now puts down 600hp and 516.3ft-lbs of torque thanks to the truck’s engineers not being restricted by T1+ class regulations.

Cloaked in a combination of natural and carbon fiber bodywork which was penned by Jaguar’s ex-head of design Ian Callum, the Hunter also retains the T1+ class machine’s hydraulic hand brake, centrally-placed roof-scoop, advanced high-tensile steel tubular chassis, and double-wishbone suspension package – the latter of which is good for nearly 16” of travel. The road-going variant also features centrally-placed, flush-fitting side-exiting Akrapovič exhaust, six-piston calipers chomping down on vented rotors all around, forged aluminum wheels shod in 35” all-terrain tires, a 126-gallon fuel cell, and front, center, and rear differentials. Capable of traversing insanely rugged terrains at triple-digit speeds, the road-going version also features the same rear wing as Loeb’s race machine, which was designed to increase stability at speed rather than to generate downforce. Prodrive is also giving customers the option of any livery color they desire.

Expected to begin deliveries later this year, the 2023 Prodrive Hunter will be produced on a built-to-order basis, with pricing starting from £1,250,000 (~$1,643,000).

Purchase: $1,643,000

Photo: Prodrive
Photo: Prodrive
Photo: Prodrive