Big, Bad and Bonkers Prodrive Hyper SUV

As if performance SUVs weren’t a bonkers concept enough, UK race tuner Prodrive has created a 600bhp $1.5M hyper-performance all-terrain vehicle.

Born out of the Dakar Rally Bahrain Raid Xtreme competition car, the Hunter is even faster than its racing forebear. Not having to comply with strict competition regulations, its power has been increased by more than 50%. The 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 has been refined and retuned on Prodrive’s advanced transient dyno in Banbury, to produce more than 600bhp and 516ft-lbs of torque while making its power delivery smoother and easier to drive.

Prodrive estimates that this would give it a 0-62mph time in less than four seconds and a top speed of nearly 185mph, however the vehicle is fitted with bespoke 35” off-road tires designed to improve grip over rough terrain and sand rather than on tarmac.

Inside a digital display gives the driver all the important information they need, while the center console houses the more traditional controls found on a road car. The Hunter retains the Dakar competition car’s engine, drivetrain and suspension but, to improve driveability, the manual sequential gear box has been replaced by a six-speed paddle shift.

The car is built around a high tensile steel space frame chassis with an FIA standard safety cage to protect the occupants. It boasts all-round double wishbone suspension with twin adjustable dampers on each corner has 400mm of travel – an increase from 350mm on the competition car – to give a smoother ride and even greater ability off road. Six pot racing brake calipers and vented discs all round provide the stopping power.

Prodrive chairman, David Richards, said: “There are numerous hypercars on the market, however they all need good roads or even race tracks to show their performance. We identified that in certain parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, there are vast expanses still to be explored that go way beyond the access provided by asphalt roads. Therefore, why not create a vehicle that gives the opportunity to explore these regions with performance way beyond that offered by any off-road vehicle before?” Like I said, bonkers!

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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