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This is Dakar’s fancy new race truck
The nuke-proof Kamaz Master has been replaced by this 960bhp beast
There’s more to the Dakar Rally than a bunch of cars smashing across the South American desert for two weeks straight. As well as cars, a flood of quads and bikes take part, alongside a community of absurd trucks. This pleases our childish side greatly.
And our stand-out favourite has always been the Russian Red Bull-liveried trucks of Team Kamaz. They’ve won the event 13 times and are quite the competitors. For next year’s Dakar, they’ve had an upgrade.
Unlike the trucks that have gone before, this latest Kamaz Master (dubbed ‘Kapotnik’) is based on the Kamaz-4326 chassis. As you may’ve noticed, it has a long, protruding cab instead of a slab-sided front. This means the drives sit further back in the chassis - permitting a modicum of comfort for their spines - whilst allowing for plenty of tech to be shoved up front.
It still maintains four-wheel-drive, but a new 12.5-litre, 980bhp diesel engine is fed through a 16-speed (yes, one-six) ZF transmission. It’ll do 100mph pretty much everywhere. And, with a 1000-litre fuel tank, pretty much endlessly.
Hidden under that stealth paintjob is some new tech we’re not allowed to know about just yet. We do know however, that Kamaz’s new truck will make its debut at the Silk Way rally next month – racing from Moscow, through Kazakhstan to Beijing covering over 10,000km in 15 stages.
After that, it’ll then head to South America to try and claim a 14th victory at next year’s Dakar. Best of luck, chaps.