Two unmodified Land Rover Defender 110 wagons will participate in the 2021 Dakar Rally as support vehicles for the new Prodrive-backed Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) team on the 4,751-mile race starting in just a few days. The two Defender 110s will serve as mobile support for the medical crew, the two drivers and the team’s support personnel on the 12-stage, 13-day event.
The P400 models finished in Indus Silver and powered by turbocharged, 3.0-liter Ingenium straight-six engines good for 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, will be the crew’s homes for the grueling, two-week-long event. This means the crew will be eating, sleeping and camping in these two Defenders during the event as they follow team BRX. And perhaps they will be emotional support vehicles as well.
The P400s will be optioned with the Explorer pack, which includes wheel arch protection, an exterior side-mounted gear carrier, and the expedition roof rack. The Defenders will also be equipped with a deployable roof ladder, also a manufacturer option you can order, as the vehicles will carry a lot of their gear on the roof rack.
“Land Rover has a unique Dakar pedigree having won the inaugural event in 1979, and the rally remains the ultimate all-terrain endurance test,” said Finbar McFall, Jaguar Land Rover Customer Experience Director. “While the Defenders won’t be competing, they will have a vital role in supporting the team as they navigate their way across thousands of miles of punishing desert terrain. The fact these vehicles are unmodified is testimony to the intrinsic capability and durability of our legendary 4×4, which has undergone the most demanding engineering test and development program in our history.”
Bahrain Raid Xtreme itself will have the rally talents of two-time Dakar winner Nani Roma of Spain, as well as World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb of France, racing Prodrive-designed Dakar vehicles.
The Defenders won’t be facing their first major off-road trials, as Land Rover itself had racked up hundreds of thousands of miles of off-road testing as part of its development program, ahead of the new model’s debut earlier this year. This included extensive off-road testing with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the United Arab Emirates, not too far from where the 2021 Dakar Rally will take place.
“The crew need to know our support vehicles will be able to carry all of the necessary kit and be relied upon to get to the next service location, whatever the conditions,” Paul Howorth, team principal of Prodrive said. “New Defender provides a unique combination of all-terrain performance, rugged practicality and comfort – a crucial combination for the unpredictable Dakar conditions and after long days behind the wheel.”
The Dakar Rally kicks off in just a few days, on January 3, in Saudi Arabia.
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