The 2018 Dakar rally will be introducing an all-new Hilux contender from Toyota since they first entered the rally in 2012. The Toyota Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, said that they have tested and redeveloped the whole vehicle to get the best results on the rough terrain. Certain aspects that were successful in previous tests have been carried over to this new model, such as the V8 engine, gearbox and running gear, but the shape and features of the car have changed completely.
The new features include independent rear suspension which has brand new geometry, a mid–mounted engine, and all–wheel drive. The car is lighter than the previous model and has 12% more suspension travel but the reliability associated with the car remains.
The winning combination of the previous and new features means that the car is easier to handle and has better balance due to the new layout.
The final tests were completed at a test track in Gauten, while its major test was done in the Kalahari, north of Upington. Giniel de Villiers feels confident that the car will hold it's own in the race and, after 3000 km of testing, is ready for Dakar 2018.
The new model looks like a promising contender and, although Hall doesn't want to be overly confident due to the grueling nature of the race, feels that the new Toyota Hilux has a good chance.
So, in tribute to all their efforts over the last few year, check out the Toyota team testing out the previous Hilux model in the video below.