Mcrae Enduro – All New Cross-Country Rally Car
May 30, 2007
• New V6 diesel-engined machine targets FIA Cross-Country and Baja markets
• Alister and Jimmy McRae set for key testing and development role
• Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo planned for 2008 season
ESTORIL (Portugal): Alister McRae officially announced the new McRae Enduro cross-country rally car in Portugal on Wednesday, May 30th at the start of the Transiberico Rally. Initial details of an exciting 2008 Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo were also unveiled.
The car has been developed over recent months under the management of Barry Reynolds and Christopher Bibb, with support from Colin Pharaoh and engineer Peter Bennett. Test and development feedback comes from a British Rally Champion, Alister McRae who is a regular competitor in FIA World Rally and he has also taken the overall title in the prestigious and fiercely competitive Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. His father five-times British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae will also be involved in the test and development programme.
“Cross-Country rallying is motorsport at its most extreme”, said Alister McRae. “It has all the right ingredients to blossom, and I’m really excited about this new project. I’ve given my full support to the programme and we’re all confident that this all-new car will be competitive in international cross-country motorsport. More importantly, it will provide newcomers, as well as more experienced drivers, with an excellent platform for success”.
The brainchild of Christopher Bibb, Barry Reynolds and Alister and Jimmy McRae, the McRae Enduro is a clean-sheet design, engineered to comply with the FIA’s T1 technical regulations governing eligibility for FIA Cross-Country rallies, Baja-type events and the gruelling Dakar Rally.
“Our aim has been to deliver T1 performance levels, while utilising production-proven mechanicals wherever possible”, said Barry Reynolds. “On one hand, current T1 cars are extremely expensive and prohibitive to all but a few major manufacturers”, continued Christopher Bibb. “On the other, production-based T2 cars are not as dynamic as many drivers would like. Our solution has been to combine the best of both categories. We have created a purpose-designed prototype spaceframe chassis for performance, while using stock components where appropriate to reduce costs. This is not a car chasing outright victory, rather one that will deliver regular top-ten placings. The McRae Enduro is designed to sit between current T1 and T2 categories.”
The McRae Enduro has been engineered and manufactured at MDV Specialist Engineering in Essex, and is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel – used in road-going guise by Land Rover, Jaguar, Peugeot and Citroën. The engine has been developed by Roush Technology and with a motorsport ECU delivers a reliable 240 horse power and a punchy 520Nm of torque. Importantly, however, the engine internals remain standard and the engine operates within production tolerance cylinder pressures. This is key to reliability and longevity. Roush technicians don’t expect rebuilds even after a full season of serious competition work.
The clean-sheet space-frame chassis is in 25crmo4 steel tube, while the six-speed manual transmission has been developed by ZF. The drivetrain also features production-sourced non-variable limited slip rear and centre differentials. Further technical support has come from Alcon, Sparco, Speedline and other leading component suppliers, with major backing from Italian tyre manufacturer, Pirelli.
Chief engineer Peter Bennett has paid specific attention to suspension design and the car features twin dampers incorporating the latest technology from 4Grip. Bespoke interchangeable uprights and wishbones front and rear help reduce component cost and spares weight.
The engineering team have also paid attention to crew safety and comfort inside the cockpit, and occupants will benefit from the latest Hans seat compatibility. “We care about our drivers. The cockpit area has been designed around 95 percentile occupants”, commented Barry Reynolds. “There is significantly more space in key areas. The helmets of tall occupants are well away from roll bars and the driver sits in line with the pedals. Seats, the steering column and the pedal box are adjustable, while air conditioning has been included to increase crew comfort. When particularly high-ambient temperatures are encountered the air con can be directed direct to occupants’ suits.”
Event-ready McRae Enduros will be available for €150,000 plus taxes. An attractive ‘arrive and drive plan’ for the Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo is in the making. This is intended specifically to make the sport accessible for new entrants, both in financial and organizational terms
previous article •