Awesome Dakar Range Rover unveiled

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The first ever all-British team to take on the gruelling Dakar rally will run in 2013 using a fleet of heavily modified Range Rover Evoques.

The Excite Rallye Raid Team will use three Range Rovers rebuilt by RaBe Race Cars, a company that for "the last 15 years has been devoted to desert racing," constructing race-winning cars for other teams.

The image above looks computer enhanced, but the car has been developed over the last four years, with prototypes competing in three previous Dakar races. Its reliability rate is 100 percent, we're told.

The final version hasn't been signed off yet, but the prototype is powered by BMW-sourced 3.0-litre diesel engine with 271bhp. It has a massive 260-litre fuel tank and weighs almost two tonnes.

The Excite Rallye Raid group comprises three drivers – Martin Rowe, John Hardy and Andrew Coley – with decades of racing experience on all kinds of terrain between them, including winter rallying and Touring Cars.

Principal driver John Hardy said: "This is the best chance an independent manufacturer team has had to perform at the top level in a long time.

"We hope that we may be able to work towards a very good result on the Dakar in 2013 and then, next time around, why not shoot for overall honours?"