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The Excite Rallye Raid Team will head to Dakar this year representing England with an all-British racing team and a Range Rover Evoque body on its truck, but BMW power beneath the skin. On the one hand, the people at Land Rover/Range Rover have to be proud. It’s great exposure for the company’s newest product and according to Excite, it’s the first time an all-British professional team has fielded a car — actually, three cars — in the Dakar Rally.
On the other hand, it has to sting a little that while the team skinned its three tube-chassis trucks with Evoque panels, it had to rely on a 275-hp, 3.0-liter BMW diesel for power. Plus — and maybe this will be corrected for the actual vehicles, since the photos are just renderings — some marketing people have to be miffed that the front of the racer says “Land Rover” just as the company is working to better differentiate Land Rover models from Range Rover ones, and the Evoque of course is one of the latter. However, as fans of both the designers and engine builders for this truck, we’ll be cheering for it when the next running of the rally comes in January.