The Dakar Rally consists of 5,592 miles of off-road racing that runs through Argentina, Chile, and Peru. It is one of the most intense and extreme motor racing events in the world. And now one team is upping the stakes for 2012. The Anglo-Dutch team, which is headed by rally car driver Alister McRae, will be doing something drastically different for the upcoming 2012 event.
Although their gas-powered ProDakar McRae Buggy 4x2 successfully completed the grueling Dakar Rally for the past two years, they will be the first team to compete in an all-electric vehicle. The electric McRae buggy has a custom made energy management system that can help it make through the most difficult stages of the race. In fact, the battery fast charges to 90 percent in just 15 to 30 minutes. It's powered by a 54kW/h lithium-ion battery through a 200 kW electric motor with 88 lb-ft of torque. It features three power settings: eco, standard, and full attack.
Driver Tim Coronel will be behind the wheel when the McRae buggy debuts at Dakar this January 1st. Support vehicles will also be on hand to refuel (translation: recharge) the vehicle which also has an aerodynamically optimized body and trick shock absorbers that can convert kinetic energy from the numerous road bumps into electric power.