As a test run before the 2012 Dakar Rally at the start of next year, the electric McRae Buggy made its rally debut at the 2011 Spanish Baja Super Special Stage in late July. Dutch driver Tim Coronel, along with partners Novolectriq, ProDakar and All Green Vehicles, announced that a prototype electric McRae Buggy completed a six-kilometer stage at the Spanish Baja in six minutes, 40 seconds.

The time may not have been earth-shattering, but if the prototype was competing in the event it would have been fast enough to place 13th overall. The prototype vehicle featured a 90-kilowatt (122-horsepower) motor but only one of its three battery packs installed for its Spanish Baja drive. The electric McRae Buggy that will compete in Dakar in January will be fitted with a 200-kw (272-horsepower) electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs with 54-kWh.

Check out more on the buggy in the video below:

Alister McRae has tackled the Dakar Rally the past few years in the ProDakar McRae Buggy and has finished what is considered one of the most grueling off-road races, if not the most grueling, in the world. The race – which previously ran from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal – moved to South America in 2009 due to security threats and now travels through Argentina, Chile and Peru. With more than 5,500 miles covered during the race, it’s an enormous feat just to finish. For 2012, McRae is upping the ante, however, looking to be the first team to race an electric vehicle at the Dakar.

This new electric McCrae buggy will feature a custom-made Lithium Ion batter designed to recharge to an amazing 90% in 15 to 30 minutes. The press release from the team provides more information:

The new evolution will be powered by a 54KW/h Lithium Ion battery pack through a PM motor with 2000Nm(but it will be limited to 120 NM) of Torque and 200 KW power rating with a weight less than 40 KG … An aerodynamically optimized body is been developed in conjunction with energy recovery shock absorbers that will turn kinetic engine from the ruts and bumps in to electrical energy.