Prodrive unveils Hunter off-road hypercar
In January, Sébastien Loeb finished runner-up in the Dakar Rally in a special rally raid machine developed by Prodrive called the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Hunter. On Wednesday, Prodrive revealed a version of the Hunter that is not only street legal, but significantly faster and more powerful than Loeb’s car to the point where it is promoted as the “world’s first all-terrain hypercar”. It is designed by Ian Callum, who was also the mastermind of the BRX Hunter.
“There are numerous hypercars on the market. However, they all need good roads or even race tracks to show their performance,” said Prodrive chairman David Richards. “We identified that in certain parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, there are vast expanses still to be explored that go way beyond the access provided by asphalt roads. Therefore why not create a vehicle that gives the opportunity to explore these regions with performance way beyond that offered by any off-road vehicle before.”
The Hunter’s engine compartment is a dry sump system sporting a 3.5-litre V6 twin turbo engine which makes it fifty percent quicker than the BRX Hunter. A four-wheel drive vehicle with a six-speed paddle shift gearbox and 480 litre safety fuel cell, it has over 600 bhp and up to 700 Nm in torque that enables it to reach 100 kph in less than four seconds with a top speed of approximately 300 kph.
The paddle shift differs from its Dakar counterpart, which has a manual sequential gear, though components like the engine and double wishbone suspension remain the same in design. Still, even those are different in tuning and performance: besides the aforementioned speed difference with the engine, the suspension on the street Hunter has 400 mm of travel, 50 mm more than the Dakar version.
The chassis is composed of high tensile steel with an FIA-regulation safety cage. Surrounding it is a body made of recycled materials that form a carbon fibre composite frame. Carbon fibre is also used for the seats, and the interior further comes with a six-point safety harness, and a dual fire extinguisher system. The controls of the car are modelled after those of a production car rather than the race-focused BRX’s.
While legal to drive on the road, the Hunter is obviously still more ideal for off-road conditions than regular city streets. This is reinforced in its tyres, which are 35 inches and intended for non-paved surfaces.
“We took the deliberate decision to keep the Hunter Hypercar as close to the original as possible,” Richards added. “It’s about giving owners the opportunity to experience what it is like to drive Loeb’s Dakar car across the desert, but with all the comforts of a road car and the ability to drive it from your home, through a city, to any destination of your choice.”
The Hunter is worth approximately £1.25 million including local taxes.