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2011-12-14 09:42

DAKAR CHALLENGER: According to Volvo the XC60 was chosen to take on the 2012 Dakar as its well suited to rallying, albeit with some modification.

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - South Africa's most experienced Dakar racer, Alfie Cox, and his German co-driver Jürgen Schröder will take on the 2012 Dakar behind the wheel of a modified Volvo XC60 RR.

Cox and Schröder tested Volvo's team Pewano's Dakar challenger in Sweden. Cox said: "This car is just amazing. I didn't expect anything like this; I am very happy and fortunate that we can launch and race the new car in the Dakar.


"The Pewano XC60 exceeded my expectations for a new vehicle to take on the might of the Dakar both in terrain and against competitors. The test in Sweden this past weekend was an unbelievable experience. Much thought, research and design has gone into the construction, suspension, cockpit design and ergonomics this is a package worthy of a podium finish.

"The torque of the five cylinder diesel engine is awesome as is the latest technology in the suspension setup. I felt completely safe during all the testing whether it was flying in the air over jumps or into corners with a tight apex. I have been involved in two major car teams and for me the engineers and management of Pewano 'have gone the extra mile," said Cox.

The XC60 RR  is custom-built, specifically developed for Cross Country and the Dakar Rally. The Dakar race car is powererd by a five-cylinder 2400cc Diesel engine producing 200kW and 700Nm through a SADEV gearbox and a Xtrac differential.

Built on a G-REX Spaceframe chassis with Carbon Fibre Laminate bodywork constructed by TeXtreme on a G-REX A-arms suspension riding on Reiger shocks.

The XC60RR is 1750mm wide (180mm wider than the standard model), has a wheelbase of 2900mm  and boasts a ride height of 330mm.

Cox said: "Like all other racers, our dream is obviously to win the Dakar Rally. However, our first target is to bring the car home and drive over the podium at the finish of the Dakar on 15 January (2012). For the Pewano Team, the new XC60 RR, as well as Jürgen and I, that would be almost as good as winning a Dakar; anything more than that will be exhilarating."

On November 21, vehicles competing in the 2012 Dakar Rally were shipped from Europe. The teams will receive their cars, bikes and trucks in Argentina on December 27, 2011 and testing will take place from December 29-31. The race will start in the Argentinean coastal resort of Mar de Plata on January 1 and finish in Luma, Peru, on January 15, 2012 after a gruelling 14 stages.

Good luck, Alfie!

Inside Wheels24

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