The 2024 Dakar Rally ended just a few days ago. Already we have the first team confirmed for the 2025. Behold the Dacia Sandrider. The new prototype will compete in the 2025 Dakar Rally as well as the World Rally-Raid Championship.
Five-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, rally legend Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez have been tasked with driving the newly developed race machine. The drivers have been an integral part of the development process. Their input has been used to help produce a racer that is as user-friendly as possible.
UK rally specialists Prodrive will build the Dacia Sandrider. This is the same team that prepared WRC cars for many years. More recently it built the Prodrive Hunter that competed in international rally raid events. The Sandrider has been conceived as an Ultimate T1+ category racer. This means it will compete against the likes of the SA-built Toyota Hiluxes and CRT buggies. The car will compete in some rounds of the international rally raid series this year. These will be used as preparation before attempting the Dakar Rally early in 2025.
A twin-turbocharged 3,0-litre V6 engine will power the Dacia Sandrider. The motor will run on synthetic fuel that combines renewable hydrogen with sequestered CO2. The engine will deliver the mandated power peak of 264 kW along with 539 N.m of torque. A six-speed sequential transmission sends torque to all four wheels. The tubular spaceframe rides on double wishbones at each corner that offers 350 mm of travel.