Toyota Goes Extreme With Four Rally-Prepped Pickup Trucks

Motorsport / Comments

They will compete in the brutal Dakar Rally.

Of all the pickup trucks not sold in the United States, the Toyota Hilux is among the most legendary. Known for being nearly impossible to kill, the Hilux (the global equivalent to the Toyota Tacoma) is the perfect starting point to build a Dakar Rally Championship winner. The Dakar is the most brutal off-road race in the world, which is why Toyota Gazoo Racing will enter a four-car team for the 2022 edition. Toyota believes it has assembled a star-studded roster that can take home a victory this year.

Toyota's team includes all-stars such as 2019 Dakar Rally winners Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, plus Giniel de Villiers and his co-driver Dennis Murphy.

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Toyota
Toyota

Henk Lategan joined the team last year as a rookie with his co-driver Brett Cummings, and will look to improve their performance from last year where they crashed on Stage five after a strong start. Lategan has a strong pedigree as a triple South African Cross-Country champion.

Finally, Shameer Variawa and his new co-driver Danie Stassen will pilot the fourth Hilux after the pair won the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. Toyota says Al-Attiyah is the current favorite to win this year's Dakar. The race itself takes place in Saudi Arabia from January 1 until January 14, 2022.

Toyota
Toyota
Toyota
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This year, the four teams will field an all-new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+, powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 from the recently-introduced Toyota Land Cruiser. The production Land Cruiser even gets a Dakar-inspired GR Sport model, though sadly (like the Hilux) it won't be sold in the US. Along with the new engine, the Hilux gets bigger wheels, a single-shock suspension system with additional travel, and updated styling.

Toyota extensively tested the truck in the Kalahari Desert, with final tweak made by Nasser and Giniel de Villiers in the past several weeks. "The team is fully prepared for the upcoming Dakar, and we are excited to test our new Hilux T1+ against the competition," says team principle Glyn Hall. "We're confident that the new car has put us on an all new level, but you never know just how good you are until the flag drops for the start of the race. We can't wait to get going in Hail."

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Toyota
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