A student at Nippon Automobile College has transformed the early Mazda CX-5 into an off-road car that can compete in the Dakar Rally. Named CX-Runner and exhibited at Tokyo Auto Salon.
The Dakar Rally is a rally raid competition that is said to be "the harshest motorsport in the world." It has been held since January 1978, usually in January, and originally started in Paris, France, and ended in Dakar, Senegal, mainly for the African continent. From that route, it is called the Paris-Dakar Rally, or "Paris Daka" in Japan. The venue will be moved to South America from 2009 and will be held in Saudi Arabia from 2020.
The CX-5 used in this project was a 2012 model and was completed using as much original parts as possible. The project isn't completely finished yet, but looking at the sketch, it seems that the wheel arch extension and roll cage are provided, and the front bumper seems to be shorter to improve visibility. The skid plate protects you from all sorts of impacts like an off-road vehicle.
According to Facebook's Facebook page, the project is progressing smoothly. It's known to be a two-seater, but it's unclear how the powertrain will be modified or left alone. Let's look forward to what one will be completed.