Toyota Gazoo Racing unleashes 2022 Dakar Hilux contender with twin-turbo V6
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JOHANNESBURG - Toyota Gazoo Racing has pulled the covers off its brand new GR DKR Hilux T1+ racing bakkie that will compete in the 2022 Dakar Rally.
The local racing outfit also announced a four-strong team that will include Nasser Al-Attiyah with navigator Mathieu Baumel, South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers navigated by Dennis Murphy, Henk Lategan with Brett Cummings and Shameer Variawa with Danie Stassen.
The 2022 Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ has undergone significant improvements for next year’s rally, optimised for the latest race regulations. These include bigger running gear, 37-inch tyres (up from 32”) and an improved suspension system with more travel, given that the previous limit of 280mm has been increased to 350mm.
But the big news is the fitment of a brand new 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 powerplant derived from the unit found in the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300. Toyota hasn’t provided any output figures as yet, but says its numbers are “significantly higher” than the road car’s 305kW and 650Nm.
“We are very pleased to announce a team that is very similar to last year,” team principal Glyn Hall said. “With Nasser and Giniel heading up our attack, and Henk gaining confidence, we are excited to take on the 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally. Our new GR DKR Hilux T1+ is progressing well, and we are confident that the new car will allow us to compete on a new level, come January.”
Giniel de Villiers said the Dakar was one of the toughest races on the planet, but feels that it suits the new Hilux perfectly.
“The new wheels, suspension travel and especially the move to the turbo-powered petrol engine from the Land Cruiser, is sure to make a big difference to our campaign,” the former Dakar winner said. “The engine is highly responsive, and allows us to push the new car to the limit. Saudi has proven to be a worthy host for the race and we expect that this will again be the case in 2022.”
The 2022 Dakar Rally will once again be based solely in the Saudi Arabian desert, albeit following a clockwise route this time. The race will start on 2 January in the northern city of Ha’il, before traversing southward to the Empty Quarter. The rest day will be in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on January 8th, before the race heads south-westward to the finish in the city of Jeddah on 14 January.