The spectacular new Prodrive Hunter will make its UK public debut at Salon Privé London which takes place at the iconic Royal Hospital Chelsea from 21-23 April. The world’s first all-terrain hypercar has been developed from the Bahrain Raid Xtreme competition car that was driven by nine-times World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb on the world’s toughest motorsport event – the Dakar finishing second overall this year
Developed by the British Prodrive company – which boasts more than 40 years of off-road competition success – the production version of the Hunter is even more extreme than the car driven by Loeb. The 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine has been refined and retuned at Prodrive’s Banbury HQ, and its power output has been boosted by 50 percent to more than 600bhp. In order to improve driveability, the competition car’s manual sequential gearbox has been replaced by a six-speed paddle shift that can change gear in milliseconds.
The double-wishbone suspension, with twin adjustable dampers on each corner, is carried over from Loeb’s racer but features 400mm of travel to give a smoother ride and allow the Hunter to cover rough terrain at unprecedented speed. Stopping power is courtesy of six-pot racing calipers and vented discs.
Were it not for the bespoke 35in off-road tyres that have been designed to optimise grip on loose surfaces, Prodrive states that its revolutionary new model would sprint from 0-100kph in less than four seconds and have a top speed of nearly 300kph.
Its high tensile steel spaceframe is clothed in bodywork made from lightweight carbon composite that includes recycled materials produced by Prodrive Composites. Famed designer Ian Callum styled the exterior of the original competition car and returned to the project to create a new interior for the Hunter that was more in keeping with everyday use rather than racing.
Prodrive Chairman David Richards said: ‘Royal Hospital Chelsea may be a long way from the terrain the car is designed for, but the Hunter is all about giving owners the opportunity to experience what it’s like to drive Sébastien Loeb’s rally-raid car – yet with all the comforts of a road car and the ability to drive it anywhere you like. It will allow enthusiasts to indulge their sense of motoring adventure like never before.’
As befitting Salon Privé’s status as one of the world’s most prestigious automotive events, eleven cars will be making their global, European or UK debut at Royal Hospital Chelsea. The very latest models from the likes of Alpine, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Genesis, Jaguar Land Rover SVO, Lamborghini, Pininfarina, Porsche and Rolls-Royce will be on display alongside Morgan Motor Company, as well as the latest machinery from Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles. These will be joined by British specialists Charge Cars, Envisage, Everrati, Jensen Automotive and Overfinch, to provide a line-up that covers everything from reimagined classics to next generation hypercars and EVs.
Director David Bagley said: ‘Salon Privé is renowned for hosting new-model debuts, and we’re delighted to be giving the Prodrive Hunter its UK public debut at Royal Hospital Chelsea. It’s a perfect match – as an event, we’re always looking to be innovative, and cars don’t come much more innovative than this. It also means that our guests will be able to indulge their passion for machinery that can take them off-road as well as on-road – and even on water and in the air! We’ll have all bases covered.’
Salon Privé London promises to be one of the UK’s most exclusive parties, with plenty to see and do in addition to the motoring attractions. The shopping village will host luxury fashion brands including renowned British jewellery designer Boodles. Everything from Patek Philippe watches to Riva motor boats and Bell helicopters will be on offer, as will the first-class hospitality for which Salon Privé has long been renowned. Pommery Champagne will flow and London Essence cocktail bars will offer exciting cocktails from NoMad, Louie and the Donovan Bar mixologists.
To complement this, Salon Privé has partnered with renowned and innovative hospitality group JKS Restaurants to provide guests with a unique dining offering. This will include dishes from the Michelin-starred Gymkhana, Indian BBQ classics by Brigadiers, and cult Taiwanese specialists BAO. In addition, there will be plates from Fitzrovia’s The George and Chelsea’s The Cadogan Arms, providing pub fare that celebrates the best of British produce, making Salon Privé London a real foodie’s delight.
There’s also the option to enjoy a sumptuous three-course seated luncheon in The Sloane – the event’s exclusive VIP Hospitality Pavilion – while DJs will keep guests entertained into the evening. On the Thursday and Friday, Salon Privé London will be open until 9pm, allowing everyone to soak up the party atmosphere as dusk falls.