With three-time Dakar Rally winner Volkswagen pulling out of the event from next year onwards, there are a number of new players keen on entering the grueling off-road rally in the coming years.

One of these is Britain’s Excite Rallye Raid Team, which has announced that it will be running three vehicles specially commissioned from race car manufacturer RaBe Race Cars and driven by Martin Rowe, John Hardy, and Andrew Coley.

The three vehicles will be based around a Range Rover Evoque chassis but will get their power from BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbodiesel engines rated at 275 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.

The vehicles will also feature ZF transmissions, Reiger coil-over suspension and 16-inch wheels with BF Goodrich desert racing tires.

Excite Rallye Raid Team currently has five prototypes that have already competed at three different Dakars, achieving a mechanical finish reliability rate of 100 percent.

However, the testing program is ongoing at the present time and the next significant target is to participate in several off-road rallies in 2012 to help with the cars’ development and to build up time in the new vehicles before taking on the Dakar Rally in 2013.