The 2017 Dakar Rally Championship will witness a new star by Toyota Gazoo Racing; their new machine is based on the Hilux pick-up truck, and features a mid-engined layout with rear-wheel drive, as opposed to its predecessor’s front-engined 4-wheel drive setup. This has been done for the benefit of better suspension travel, also allowing it to accommodate larger wheels.
This beast weighs in at 1300kgs(615kgs lighter than the rally car it replaces) – and is powered by a 5.0-litre, naturally-aspirated V8 that breathes via a 1.5-inch restrictor. “We’ve taken all the testing and real-world experience we gained with the four-wheel-drive Toyota Hilux over the past five years, and repackaged it in the lighter, faster Toyota Hilux Evo”, says Glynn Hall, Team Principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing.
The previous 4×4 Hilux managed four podiums in the hands of 2009 Dakar winner: Giniel de Villiers. In the upcoming Dakar rally, Toyota Gazoo’s Hilux Evo will take the fight to the 4×4 X-Raid Minis and the RWD Peugeots, starting January 2nd in Paraguay.