Evoque With BMW 3.0L Diesel Coming to 2012 Dakar Rally

The Dakar rally might not be a rally to Dakar itself anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a worth-wile motorsport event. The 2012 edition will cover 9,000 kilometers of treacherous South American terrain in just 14 days of racing.
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We’re here to tell you not about the course, but about one particularly good looking contender. After Top Gear proved the Evoque was up to the Range Rover name in the Nevada desert, it was only a matter of time before we got a really hardcore version.

Thus, the British Excite Rally Raid Team will race three cars commissioned by RaBe Race Cars. The pictures that were provided of the chassis and suspension setup didn’t get us all excited, but the front end of the car did.

Yes indeed, the Dakar racer has got the pretty face of the new Evoque, but it also has something else that’s worth our attention... something German. Under the bonnet is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine from BMW, a favorite with off-road rally teams for its reliability and performance. The six-cylider unit is capable of delivering 275 hp and 650 Nm (479.4 lb-ft) of peak torque.

Rally-spec features include a ZF 6-speed transmission with a two-speed transfer case, a monstrously huge fuel tank and a set of BF Goodrich desert G series tires.

“We’ve been working on this project for a long time”,
said the team’s business manager David Jones. “We were approached by a manufacturer, RaBe Race Cars, whose staff has been around the sport for a long time. Seeing our professional approach, they asked if we could work together. We have goals we can assist each other with, so we have now set our sights a bit higher.”

“We have years of off-road motorsport experience at every level, from club to international works teams. The last 15 years have been devoted to Desert raging and achieving top honors at Dakar. It is little known, but we have built cars for many other teams who race under their own colors and logos,” Mike Jones of RaBe Race Cars commented.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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