The first raid prototype of Prodrive, on which the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team competes in Dakar, will be fueled with a new generation of environmentally friendly fuel in the 2022 marathon. A mixture called Prodrive ECOpower was developed specifically for motorsport in cooperation with the British Coryton Advanced Fuels. This type of fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent, and its characteristics are not inferior to conventional racing gasoline.
The Prodrive ECOpower low-carbon, high-octane blend is a mix of second-generation biofuels (made from agricultural waste) and synthetic fuels, obtained by capturing carbon dioxide from the air. In fact, it is analogous to the Porsche Esso Renewable Racing Fuel and 98RON Renewable Racing Fuel, which Bentley used at Pikes Peak. Prodrive sees ECOpower as a direct replacement for conventional fuel and says it doesn’t even need to adapt the engine to it.
The new version of the Prodrive Hunter prototype is equipped with a Ford V6 3.5 dry sump engine and complies with the T1 + class regulations. The buggy got an extended track. The suspension travels have increased from 280 to 350 millimeters. Wheels with 16 “discs and 32” tires gave way to larger ones (17 “discs and 37” tires), which, in turn, entailed the replacement of the propeller shaft and drive shafts, as well as the installation of reinforced differentials. For the design, as before, was in charge of the studio of ex-Jaguar stylist Ian Callum.
According to Prodrive CEO David Richards, motorsport must take on the role of advocating technology that will help combat climate change – and Richards is not alone in this endeavor. Thus, Audi will launch a hybrid prototype at the start of Dakar 2022 with an experimental power plant based on a turbo four from the racing Audi RS5 Turbo DTM. And the GCK Motorsport team will try to drive the entire route of the rally-raid in the GCK e-Blast 1 SUV with an electric power plant.