Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, SUV, Racing

2012 OSCar eO

2012 OSCar eO – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Dakar Rally covers more than 5,500 miles of rough terrain through some of the harshest conditions in South America. It’s hell on both machines and drivers, demanding reliability from high-strung engines and full focus from people running on very little sleep.

The strains are enough to kill even the stoutest internal combustion engines and make veteran drivers crack. Despite all that, Latvian race car builder OSCar has decided to tackle the race in an EV. Powered by a permanent magnet motor making between 180 and 315 kW with between 370 and 590 lb. ft. of torque, the OSCar eO is an electrified version of the company’s Chevrolet LS-powered e3.

The eO’s top speed is a slightly underwhelming 86 miles per hour, but OSCar says the top speed won’t be an issue since it won’t be competing against conventionally-fueled entries.

OSCar says the eO will have a small, Nissan-sourced gasoline engine serving as a generator to help it cover long distances, but propulsion will be 100 percent electric. Helping the generator charge the batteries will be a regenerative braking system. Without the generator’s help, OSCar expects the e0 to be good for about 190 miles under light strain, and roughly half that under pressure.

To make sure the EV makes it from one end of the rally to the other, OSCar is sending along a support truck and an gas-powered e3 to make sure the car makes it to the finish in one piece. Watch for the OSCar eO when the 2012 Dakar Rally kicks off on January 1. Check out the video and press release after the break.

Gallery: 2012 OSCar eO

2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO

[Source: OSCar]

Continue reading Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video]

Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Journalist Sue Mead, racer Darren Skilton become first U.S. team to win a class in Dakar Rally

Filed under: Motorsports, Truck, Ford, South America, Off-Road, Racing

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 2011 Dakar Rally

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor at the 2011 Dakar Rally – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is still proving that it can do whatever deed needs done, whenever it needs doing. Sue Mead and Darren Skilton managed to pilot a largely stock version of the desert-raiding pickup through all 12 stages of this year’s Dakar rally. The team survived 16 days of some of the most brutal terrain on the South American continent and covered over 11,800 miles in the process. Their effort was enough to net the Raptor a 40th place finish over all and a first place finish in the OP class.

In fact, from what we hear, Mead and Skilton were the only contestants to even finish in the OP class, even with big names like Robbie Gordon gunning for the win.

That marks the first time that an American crew has ever managed to take a class win in the history of the Dakar Rally. The F-150 SVT Raptor that Mead and Skilton campaigned boasted the same 5.4-liter V8 that it rolled off the production line with, though a larger cooling system was fitted to handle the harsh temperatures of the course. Likewise, the pickup was equipped with a host of other race-capable bits including a new locker system for the differentials, more robust shocks, springs and tires.

Overall, Volkswagen took the top three spots in the 2011 Dakar Rally. BMW filled out the remaining spots in the top five with its entries. Hit the jump for the press release.

Gallery: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 2011 Dakar Rally

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Journalist Sue Mead, racer Darren Skilton become first U.S. team to win a class in Dakar Rally

Journalist Sue Mead, racer Darren Skilton become first U.S. team to win a class in Dakar Rally originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Jan 2011 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Carlos Sainz and VW lead Dakar through two stages

Filed under: Motorsports, Volkswagen

Carlos Sainz leads the 2011 Dakar in his VW Touareg race truck

The 2011 Dakar Rally is only two stages old, but there’s already a big-time force at the top of the leader board. CNN reports that defending Dakar champion and Volkswagen driver Carlos Sainz has put the pedal to the metal to win the first two events and is leading BMW driver Stephane Peterhansel by a substantial three minutes, five seconds. Sainz’s Touareg race truck whooped on the competition in the 324 kilometer second stage with a one minute, three second lead over teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah. Sainz managed the impressive stage despite consistent issues with his windscreen wiper blades. Sainz claims the problem forced him to slow down for 12 kilometers since his vision was so compromised. In total, the Dakar rally stretches 13 stages and 9,500 kilometers. Today’s stage is 500 kilometers from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy.

Sainz isn’t the only former champ faring well at Dakar. Three-time motorcycle champ Cyril Despres is having his way with the two-wheeled competition, as the talented pro took his second straight stage. Despres leads Marc Coma of Spain by two minutes 35 seconds.

[Source: CNN | Image: Stephane Mantey/Associated Press]

Report: Carlos Sainz and VW lead Dakar through two stages originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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X-Raid previews Mini All4 for Dakar

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Hatchback, Mini, South America, Racing

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X-Raid Mini All4 Racing – Click above for full-size image

Mini is going to Dakar, or at least the 2011 Dakar Argentina-Chile race. Monster Energy has partnered up with the X-Raid Team to bring a diesel-powered Mini Countryman to the sands of South America in just 90 days. The team started on the project last month, and the reworked Countryman has to be in Argentina before the New Year. Between now and then are hours of wrenching and a few shake-down runs in France on December 13 and 14.

X-Raid has previously campaigned a BMW X3CC, helping the team to nab three FIA World Cup titles for cross country racing, and last year the vehicle helped the team walk away with fourth and fifth place finishes in the 2010 Argentina-Chile race. To that end, the team will be using a turbo-diesel engine borrowed from the bad Bimmer. With 315 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque, the engine brings a substantial bump in power to the table while using the same architecture as the lump found in the 2010 X3CC.

Switching to the Countryman has a number of benefits, including better handling from the vehicle’s lower center of gravity and shorter wheelbase, though the team says that ingress and egress is a little more complicated compared to the BMW. Look for the Mini All4 Racing during this year’s Argentina-Chile this January.

[Source: X-Raid]

X-Raid previews Mini All4 for Dakar originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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