Automotive

Dakar Team Introduces Car Powered By Agricultural Waste


The Prodrive Hunter T1+ prototype.

The Prodrive Hunter T1+ prototype.
Image: Prodrive

The Bahrain Raid Xtreme team, which is managed by the storied Prodrive, is set to run a biofuel-powered car in the 2022 running of the Dakar, Motorsport reports.

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Biofuels are largely what they sound like: fuel for vehicles that’s made of ecological waste. For Prodrive, which finished fifth in its Dakar debut in 2021, that means engineering a vehicle that can run on a fuel made of agricultural waste and other efuels created by carbon capture. The team is claiming that this fuel will reduce the emissions created by traditional fuel by 80 percent.

This project has been in the works for the last eight months. BRX partnered with Coryton Advanced Fuels to create that biofuel, which it has named as Prodrive ECOpower. It can also apparently be used as a direct replacement for unleaded fuel in traditional combustion cars, and Prodrive and BRX will be demonstrating that with road cars in the near future.

BRX will be entering the newly-founded T1+ category for the Dakar, the regulations of which are still up in the air — they’re set to be decided later this week at the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Both the T1+ and T1-U categories are designed to open up Dakar to burgeoning technologies, like electric cars, hybrid engines, and hydrogen- and biofuel-powered machines. The very base regulations, however, have been released by Motorsport:

What it did make clear several months ago, as reported by Motorsport.com, is that the T1+ will have 350mm of suspension travel (up from 280mm at present), 37-inch wheels (up from the previous 35-inch wheels that caused several punctures in the first two editions of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia) and a 2.30-metre chassis (instead of the two metres of the 2021 version). In addition, its minimum weight will increase from 1850 kg to 1950 kg.

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Andrew Wilson, CEO of Coryton, added: “Coryton has a long history in blending bespoke fuels for the motorsport industry, and to further support our customers evolving needs, we’ve recently launched Sustain, our new sustainable fuels offering. We knew that partnering with Prodrive would be an ideal way to test our capability in some of the world’s most challenging racing environments, alongside some of the finest engineering expertise in the industry.”

Fueling up a car at one of the most punishing off-road events of the year is no easy feat, and it’s one that could easily make or break a company’s reputation. That said, Coryton has succeeded in motorsport so far in its career, so if there’s any company that can work with biofuels, it’s Coryton.

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