I was having a wander through the ASO Dakar Tech Reg's for AUTO's last night... and pursuant to a couple of discussions here, found some interesting "modifications" (to both the cars... and the rulebook
) for 2013... Here is a synopsis
As dutchie wrote, in principle all engines now in the premier T1 category (diesel or petrol) have to be original/standard components; homologated* under the FIA from manufacturers production model range. (You can use different engines from different models - as long as from same manufacturer).
*Homologation = 2500 production units/in 12 consecutive months as on sale to public in production vehicles).
ie: No more hand built factory special engines:
In general, the major components that must be stock are: Engine block, Crank, Connect rods, Pistons, valve train, cylinder head... all must be series production units.
So while on paper the Hilux's now get more ponies from the bigger 4.8 liter Lexus V8 (4.5 engine in 2012) and the MINI's have to go back to production based 3,0 liter BMW diesel... the Hilux has a max inlet restrictor diameter of 36mm to feed the V8... the MINI's have 38mm to feed the bi-turbo diesel.
And then there is still the minimum weight thing to consider;
Under the FIA min weight table - the 4,8 liter Hilux's must weigh in at no less than 1975 kg's (dry)... but the little MINI's only 1675 kg's (dry). In other words, the MINI full tanked will weigh about the same at the start line as the empty V8 Hilux (which is going to have to carry at least 400 liters to feed that engine?)... So on the long tough dune stages... the MINI will be at a distinct weight advantage for the first third/two thirds of the stages... It's not a cake walk for the Hilux's by any means.
Regards the "FORD V8 engine in a MITSUBISHI chassis" discussion:
There is an interesting new(ly introduced for DAKAR 2013)
rule in the latest AUTO Tech Reg's, under 2P3 "Advertising"
which simply states; "The engine manufacturer is not necessarily linked to the car/manufacturer name"...
Curiously enough this is the exact OPPOSITE of what it used to be - and still is; under the FIA technical Regs for CCR - where to be considered a "factory entry" eligible for the manufacturer award/general classification, the engine and chassis must be of the same make/brand.
So it would appear this simple "advertising clause" change HAS indeed made it possible for the Misubishi/RalliArt squad to build a Ford V8 engined ASX and enter it... as you suspect Zeque
Which leads me to draw the conclusion that Mssr Viardot has taken over the French mantle from former title holder - JL Schlesser
- as the #1 seeded "off season rule Tech Reg's racer"
, and is taking the battle to the X-Raid and Hallspeed guys to see who can get the most performance out of the rulebook...
If Nasser's boys in California are building a (from the ground up) V8 based/rear engined buggy specifically for DAKAR in the FIA T1 or OPEN 1 (SCORE eligible) category... they are limited to a maximum of 5.4 liters engine capacity and the induction manifold must breathe through a restrictor of a diameter not more than 37,2 mm and a minimum weight of just 1400 kg's.
Now I am not sure what "trickery" the engine tech's in Cali' can achieve with that restrictor limitation (735 Hp seem's more like a figure for a "full house SCORE spec' Trophy Truck engine)... but even if they can get 350-400 out of a restricted one, with the light weight, a good balance/suspension set up - as we've seen with RG in past, it could be more than competitive (on paper
at least). I don't think we'll se no 700 + horsepower Qatar buggy in Lima... 350 to 400 sound about right.