Colin-on-Cars – Hilux ready for Dakar

It has been undergoing testing at all the local Cross Country events this year and it is now confirmed as official – the GR DKR Hilux T1+ will be taking on the Dakar in 2022.

Powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine of 3,5-litres which is sourced from the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport, the new GR DKR Hilux T1+ features more low-down torque than its predecessor, as well as gains in terms of engine weight, though the overall weight of the car has been increased to 2 000 kg as per the regulations.

The new engine’s performance is governed by the rules as set out by the FIA, and as such it offers 298 kW of power and approximately 660 Nm of torque, which is well within the performance capability of the production engine.

The car also features a suspension system that has seen an increase in travel from 280 mm to 350 mm, which allows the driver to make the most of the new tyres that have been increased from 32 inches to 37 inches. The tyre width has also increased from 245 mm to 320 mm.

Aluminium wheels have been an integral part of the development of the T1+ and the team has chosen to leave the wheels in their natural aluminium finish, as this offers a benefit in terms of heat radiation.

Under the skin, the Hilux has retained the same mid-engine layout that has been in use since Dakar 2016, as well as the core cockpit layout. 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 new car features the latest livery design, which aligns with that used in both the WEC and WRC. As such, the new Toyota GR DKR Hilux, which will also compete in the 2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, clearly forms part of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s world championship race car line. The GR lettering has now been adopted by all three World Championship teams, even though the Dakar Hilux has been part of the GAZOO Racing family for many years. This lettering also serves to reinforce the link between Toyota’s race cars, and the road cars that bear the same letters.

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 for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. The 2019 Dakar Rally winners will again have Giniel de Villiers (2009 Dakar winner) as teammate, and the South African will be partnered with co-driver Dennis Murphy for the 2022 edition of the race.

South Africans Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings will be returning to the Dakar Rally, with the aim of showing their pace over the full race distance after crashing out during stage 5 of the 2021 edition of the rally. The final car in the line-up will be driven by Shameer Variawa and co-driver Danie Stassen, both from South Africa.

Glyn Hall, Team Principal: “Our all-new Toyota GR DKR Hilux has progressed extremely well over the last few months of development, and we are confident it is now ready to take on the Dakar Rally. As such, we’ve officially taken it out of the prototype programme, and will now continue to refine the car in time for January’s race. The new engine from the Land Cruiser has proven reliable from the get-go, and working with it in stock form means that we don’t have to stress the engine to extract maximum performance.”


Engine –                       V35A Production Engine

Donor –                        Land Cruiser 300

Engine Type –              Twin Turbo, Petrol

Control Regulation –    Boost Limited by FIA Reference Power Curve

Power –                        298 kW

Torque –                       660 Nm

Engine Management –  Motec

Transmission –             Sadev 6-speed, Sequential Shift

Differentials –              All Limited Slip (front, centre, rear)

Clutch –                        Ceramic Twin Plate, 215 mm

Construction –              Tubular Frame

Wheel Base –                3,140 mm

Overall Length –          4,810 mm

Overall Width –            2,300 mm

Overall Height –           1,890 mm

Overall Mass –             2,000 kg, FIA Regulated Minimum (dry weight)

Body –                          Toyota Hilux Double Cab Pick-Up, Full Composite

Front Suspension –       Double Wishbone, 350 mm Travel

Rear Suspension –        Double Wishbone, 350 mm Travel

Wheels –                       Method Race Wheels, 17 inches

Tyres –                         BF Goodrich, 37 inches

Fuel Tank –                  FT3 Safety Cell, 540 litres

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