XLR8 Automotive

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Established in 2002, XLR8-Automotive specialise in the customisation of all vehicles to suit you or your companys needs.

Performance Vehicle Preparation (Race, rally, track etc), Emergency Vehicle Conversions, Fleet Tracking, Sat Nav Installations, Hands Free kits, Reversing Cameras, Auto Electrics, Fault Diagnostics & More!  Follow us on FACEBOOK

Published: May 11, 2012

Read the 'how to get started in rallying' article? Here is what you need to know to build your car.

To save this article being to big I have summarized this into the main points- I will leave the modding up to you as this is very much personal choice, budget & vehicle dependant.

What you need:


  • A car
  • Roll cage (from £250)
  • Rally seats (From £90 each)
  • Harnesses (from £80 each)
  • Hand held fire extinguisher (from £30)
  • Plumbed in fire extinguisher (from £80)
  • Air horns
  • Electrical Kill switch (from £10)

    1. The Car: Don’t scrimp here, rust buckets & vehicle on their last legs simply wont do, this isn’t like stock car racing- any vehicle that is not solid will simply not pass the safety scrutineering. Its best to get a car that suits your budget, don’t go to expensive as mistakes do happen & consider the repair bills.

A car like a Vauxhall Nova etc will be very cheap to maintain, plus when things go wrong or after a little ‘bump’ the repair bills will not burn a huge hole in your pocket.

Consider also the engine size as you may find you’re in a group with cossys & imprezas! - typical ‘club rally’s’ use the following engine size groups: A= up to 1399cc, B=1400-1698, C=1698-2200 D= over 2.2 & Turbo cars (typically a turbo will increase the effective capacity by 60%).

    1. The roll cage: Main note, Always buy new!- do not use a second hand one!- this is your main from of safety protection in a crash & must they not be re-used.

Commonly roll cages are available as ‘weld in’ or ‘bolt in’, I personally find weld in cages to be a better option- bolt in cages often need ‘pressure plates welding in place first anyway so if you don’t have a welder consider buying one!

Cages come in many forms from a basic 6 point cage to multipoint cages- get the best one that your budget will allow!

    1. Rally seats: Again always buy new!. The seats need to be ‘FIA’ approved & generally have a shelf life of 10 years after which they will not pass scrutineering. They must be ‘solid fixed’ & not adjustable.
    2. Harnesses: These too need to be ‘FIA’ approved, be at least 4 point & have 3” straps with an ‘aircraft’ style buckle (not car seat types), these have a life of 5 years.
    3. Hand held fire extinguisher: This is best mounted in front of the passenger seat- it must be checked regularly (to ensure the pressure is still in the green).
    4. Plumbed in fire extinguisher: This should be mounted behind the driver or passenger seat, It will come with two pull cords, one must be fixed to the interior so that both the driver or passenger could pull it in an accident- the second should be located on the outside of the vehicle, preferably on top of the n/s wing.
    5. The extinguisher must be plumbed into the engine bay so that once activated it could cover the engine bay.
    6. Air horns: As the standard horn on most cars is just not loud enough a rally car must be fitted with ‘air horns’- commonly available from most good motor factors for around £20. The driver & navigator both must be able to activate the horn.
    7. Kill Switch: this is best mounted in the car where both the driver and co-driver could activate it + a pull cable to the out side of the vehicle (next to the extinguisher pull cord).

NOTE* this article is constantly being updated…please email for more details…