Toyota pulled the covers off its 2022 Dakar Rally challenger at an event held in Johannesburg today. The Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ will be heading to the Middle East, more specifically Saudi Arabia, in January to compete in next year’s Dakar Rally.
New power source
The GR DKR Hilux T1+ is powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The 3,5-litre engine is sourced from the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport. In race trim the new powerplant produces 298 kW of power and approximately 660 N.m of torque. Power is fed to all four wheels through a Sadev six-speed, sequential shift transmission.
New suspension and appearance
For 2022 new rules have allowed the 4×4 machines to adopt larger wheels (37 inches vs 32), wider tyre tread (320 mm vs 245) and longer suspension travel (350 mm versus 280). The car now carries only two spare tyres rather than the three that had been in use in the past, due to a change in the regulations for the T1+ category. The GR DKR Hilux T1+ features a livery design that brings it closer to GR racecars that compete in the WEC and WRC.
For Dakar 2022, the team will field four of the all-new GR DKR T1+ versions of the Hilux, with Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel spearheading the attack. 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers will be partnered with navigator Dennis Murphy; Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings will return for their second Dakar; and Shameer Variawa will now be partnered with navigator Danie Stassen.
In their own words
Giniel de Villiers: “We’ve done significant work on the new car over the last few months, and I believe that we are very close to an ideal setup. With this weekend’s race, we hope to validate some of the final refinements we have made to the car. Overall, the engine from the Land Cruiser is the highlight for me, as it is very powerful and seems reliable in our tests to date.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “I continue to be impressed by the new car, and I’m particularly impressed with the tough terrain that we can tackle with the new, bigger tyres. The engine delivers excellent power and torque, and we are looking forward to testing the car in race conditions this coming weekend.”
Henk Lategan: “I’m looking forward to racing the new T1+ at Dakar 2022, especially having to miss out on the new car due to my commitments in the SACCS. I have done a fair amount of testing though, and the new tyres and suspension is truly spectacular.”
Shameer Variawa: “The new V6 engine has been highly impressive from the start. I’ve been campaigning the V8 version of the car in the SACCS, but can’t wait to finally get behind the wheel of the new car. We’ve got just one round left in the local championship, after which all eyes will turn to Dakar.”