Dune Delight: Prodrive’s off-road Hunter hypercar is street-legal
Picture this: Fresh off a private jet, you’re blazing down a strip of two-lane tarmac outside of Dubai with your billionaire buddies, hitting triple digits in your hyper-beasts. Ahead, a wind drift of desert sand blocks your caravan’s path. Your fellow road warriors—aboard an Aventador, a Chiron, and some other carbon-fiber rockets you barely recognize—stab the brakes to prevent collision with the white wall, but you … you mash the loud pedal into the floorboard. In a shower of silt, you’re airborne for a fleeting moment, before landing on the other side of the obstruction, unfettered. Your eyes pivot to the rear-view mirror: just a pile of earth. You know that your friends are somewhere beyond the blockade. Losers.
This is the exact scenario promised to you by the new Prodrive Hunter—the world’s first all-terrain hypercar.
Touted as the “Ferrari of the Desert,” the Hunter is a 600-horsepower four-wheel-drive street-legal vehicle capable of traversing dunes, rocky trails, and any other terrain you might find on Arrakis. “There are numerous hypercars on the market, however they all need good roads or even racetracks to show their performance,” says Prodrive chairman David Richards. “We identified that in certain parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, there are vast expanses still to be explored that go way beyond the access provided by asphalt roads.”
Prodrive is at home off-road. In fact, its success in the sand dates back all the way to January 1984, when the company won its first-ever event the Qatar International Rally. Since then, its amassed more than 300 victories, including a rather iconic stint campaigning blue and yellow Subarus with Colin McRae.
More recently, the company campaigned a version of the Hunter in the 2021 Dakar Rally and finished fifth overall. Typically, the production car is a diluted version of the track demon. Not the case, here. Prodrive has flipped the script, and the Hunter available to the public is 50 percent more powerful—and has more suspension travel—than the competition car. A 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ford V-6 engine mounted front-mid does the dirty work and delivers over 500 ft-lb of twist to the diffs.
Despite the added aggression, occupants will be better cossetted than the ralliers, as Prodrive brought European design deity Ian Callum—who originally designed the Hunter racer—back into the fray to design the production buggy’s interior. To further temper the beast, inside, Prodrive replaced the sequential race box with a six-speed paddle shifter.
Like any off-roader worth a dusty dime, the Hunter rides on a tube-frame chassis. At each corner: 35-inch tires, double wishbones, and dual dampers. And should you roll it, know that the Hunter comes standard with six-point safety harnesses and an FIA standard safety cage enveloping the whole shebang.
So how do you get one of these desert eaters in your garage? First, you’ll have to comb your cushions for at least £1.25 million. (For that money you, could purchase about 20 fully-loaded Ford Raptors.) The first developmental vehicle is currently touring the Middle East where customers are confirming their à la carte production Hunters to be delivered later this year. Better jet.