The Poole, England-based Excite Rallye Raid Team just received its new Desert Warrior 3 race vehicle for a two-day shakedown in Holland, as the team prepares to compete in upcoming off-road rally races, including a future Dakar rally. Although the car outwardly looks like a Range Rover Evoque Coupe, under-the-skin, the Desert Warrior 3, built by RaBe Race Cars, is fully purpose-built to take on the rigors of desert rally racing. Rather than the streetgoing Evoque's turbo 2.0-liter gas engine, it features a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine capable of 350 hp, but restricted to 275 hp to meet FIA regulations. Power gets to the wheels through a six-speed sequential race transmission.

The custom chassis is made from T45 tubing tested through three Dakar races. For long intervals between fill-ups, the vehicle features a 68.7-gallon fuel tank, giving the Desert Warrior 3 an estimated range of 746 miles between fill-ups.

But the most innovative features of the Desert Warrior 3 are in its suspension, consisting of Reiger dampers. The Corner Control Valve system can detect whether the vehicle is going straight or cornering, and increases the compression damping of the outer wheel to reduce roll, allowing the vehicle to run a softer anti-roll bar, or even do without one at all. The Rebound Control Valve can detect whether the wheel is on the ground or not, and will soften the rebound damping so the wheel drops quicker.

The Excite Rallye Raid team has some sponsorship backing currently, but is still seeking a title sponsor for the team. The team plans on campaigning three vehicles in 2013 and 2014

Source: Excite Rallye Raid Team