Toyota's latest Dakar rally Hilux gets a punchy new V6
Gazoo Racing unveils its Dakar 2022 contender, complete with new engine and longer-travel suspension
We may have mixed feelings about Saudi Arabia hosting the Dakar rally, but we’ve no qualms with the cars. Here’s Toyota’s Dakar 2022 contender, the GR DKR Hilux T1+.
It looks broadly as we’d expect – a beefed-up Hilux pick-up daubed in red, white and black livery – with its headline sat amidships.
A new 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 is nabbed from the latest Gazoo Land Cruiser (yep, that’s actually a thing, and it's pictured above) and only mildly tuned for motorsport. Clearly we need to try that Land Cruiser. It’s more powerful yet lighter than the previous rally Hilux’s powerplant, mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox and delivering 400bhp and 487lb ft in line with FIA regulations. The suggestion is it could probably punch harder…
FIA regs also mean the Hilux’s overall weight is up despite the lighter engine, at a very clean 2,000kg. And yes, the V6 does sit in the middle of the car.
The suspension has a bigger working range than before, its travel increased from 280 to 350mm, while the tyres climb from 32 to 37 inches, gaining width at the same time. They’re wrapped around all new alloy wheels, unpainted to help with heat management.
Four of these Hilux T1+ trucks will compete at Dakar, with three-times winner Nasser Al-Attiyah leading Toyota’s charge. “I continue to be impressed by the new car, particularly by the rough terrain that its new, bigger tyres allow us to tackle,” he says.
Cool thing, huh?
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