Prodrive has announced that Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) is to use a redesigned version of the Prodrive Hunter, the T1+, at next year’s Dakar Rally.
Forming the top class alongside T1-E, the FIA recently released the new T1+ regulations to balance performance across all four- and two-wheel drive vehicles competing in the T1 class.
The most noticeable change made to the Hunter T1+ is the use of 37in tires on 17in rims to replace the previously used 32in tires fitted to 16in rims. To cater for the above change, Prodrive, along with styling house Callum, opted to widen the vehicle’s body from 2m to 2.3m to meet the new regulations.
Due to the vehicle redesign, an array of other changes were made to the Hunter’s drivetrain and suspension. The entire suspension geometry was reconfigured using longer wishbones and dampers that increased travel from 280mm to 350mm, while larger brakes are tucked behind the now 17in wheels. Furthermore, the driveshafts, prop shaft and differentials were all modified to handle the increased load of the larger radius tires.
Prodrive also opted to increase the windshield size to improve driver visibility, alongside the fitting of a new programmable wiper motor. Onboard quick jacks powered by an electric pump were also revised and made lighter, stronger and faster for lifting the vehicle for maintenance.
“We are very pleased the organizers have addressed the disparity in regulations between the buggies and the four-wheel drive T1 cars, where larger tires had an advantage over rough terrain,” commented Gus Beteli, BRX team principal.
“We’ve learned a huge amount on our debut this year and have put all this learning into improving the car and believe our new Hunter T1+ is a significant step forward. We are looking forward to returning to Saudi in January, where we will be looking to challenge for victory.”
At present, Prodrive is building the first iteration of the Hunter T1+ vehicle at its UK headquarters, ahead of a scheduled first run in September this year. The vehicle will also be available to customers looking to compete in FIA Cross Country events, Bajas, and the Dakar Rally.