Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will begin his fifth Dakar Rally when the 7,646km race across the Saudi Arabian dunes begins with the prologue on Saturday January 2.
And the Frenchman will negotiate the gruelling desert conditions in a fearsome new Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) Hunter T1 machine, with the Prodrive run team embarking on their maiden Dakar.
Loeb’s four-wheel drive vehicle features a bespoke 3.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine – a first at the Dakar. History could be made over the coming weeks with no car ever winning the overall title in its debut Dakar drive.
Reading the roadbook for Loeb in Saudi Arabia will be his long-time co-driver Daniel Elena. Loeb said: “We have a new project with a new car and that’s always exciting.”
Full car specification
Front-mid3.5 litre V6 twin turboSingle plenum/throttleDry sumpPower 400 bhpTorque 700 Nm
4-wheel driveSix speed sequential shift gearboxFront, centre and rear differentials
High strength steel tubular structureCarbon and natural fibre composite bodyworkBuilt-in hydraulic jacks
Double wishboneTwo fully adjustable dampers per wheel
Carbon fibre seatsSix-point safety harnessDual fire extinguisher systemLightweight lithium-ion batteryNavigation system
500 litre in safety cell to FIA standards
Six pot front calipersSix pot rear calipersVented discs
WHEEL & TYRES
16 X 7
WEIGHT & DIMENSIONS
Length – 4.5mWidth – 2.0mHeight – 1.8mWheelbase – 2.9mDry weight – 1850kg
Photographer Credit:Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool