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The BRX Hunter Is An EcoBoost-Powered Dakar Rally Monster

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Many a racing team and driver has tried and failed to complete the Dakar Rally, a grueling three-week blast across some of the toughest terrain on earth, as quickly as possible. That now includes Prodrive, a three-time World Rally Championship winner with experience in all sorts of motorsports – but never Dakar, until now. Prodrive has built this wild-looking machine, dubbed the BRX Hunter, with an eye toward conquering yet another form of racing. And if looks alone were a predictor of performance, it’s already a winner.

If the exterior of the BRX Hunter looks a bit familiar, that’s because it was created by legendary Jaguar designer Ian Callum. Prodrive wanted the machine to look special, mainly because the long-term goal is to turn BRX into a brand. And perhaps eventually, a road-going production vehicle. But make no mistake – the design is also purposeful.

Take the giant rear wing, for example, which gives the BRX Hunter more high-speed stability and sharper handling at lower speeds. The hood and windshield were purposely designed to maximize visibility, which is critical on long jaunts through the desert. The wild-looking machine is also quite light given the fact that it’s a rugged off-roader, with a curb weight of just over 4,200 pounds.

The Hunter is powered by Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6, which produces around 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque in this application. It sends that power to all four wheels, with a rugged yet simple suspension setup consisting of double-wishbone and twin dampers at each corner. There are no fancy torque-vectoring differentials or adaptive dampers here.

The BRX Hunter is by no means a groundbreaking machine, but rather, Prodrive sought to make little improvements here and there that will hopefully add up to a win at Dakar. We’ll find out if that approach works when this new machine hits the deserts of Saudi Arabia on January 3rd.

We’ll have more on the Dakar Rally soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. royly

    Ford has never won the Dakar rally-this is sad, even VW has won at one time or another. In the last couple of years, ford has failed to finish, and then finished last in class in the Baja 1000 (bronco R). I’d love to see ford win something other than an all female rally where your ability to navigate is more important than the ability of the vehicle (the bronco sport’s big win). It is a shame the bronco isn’t available with the 3.5, the 5.0 V8 would be far better. I’d love to see the full report after the race. If this hand built racing machine does well, ford will try to take credit, if not, they’ll say it wasn’t a ford built machine! It’s a shame, ford didn’t sponsor and enter a Bronco R, with all the money they’ve spent on these hand built machines (that look somewhat similar to a production bronco) one might think they’d like to win some kind major race with them, so far this has not been money well spent.

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  2. royly

    This would be a good time for a “follow up” story, what happend? did they finish the race? If Not, why not? I know if they had won, ford would be taking credit one way or the other, but if they did not win, place, show or finish, it wasn’t fords fault. Why hasn’t ford Ever won the Dakar Rally? After the last two years of failing to finish, and not winning squat at the Baja, you’d think there would have been some kind of effort to win/place or show, or even to finish the Dakar, well….I guess there is next year.

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