Overhauled Hilux Will Represent Toyota at Dakar Rally

The Toyota Hilux at the Dakar Rally 2016 in Namibia

The Toyota Hilux at the Dakar Rally 2016 in Namibia

The Dakar Rally is known as one of the most gruelling and intense off-road races of its kind in the world. And with multiple competitive categories, a wide range of vehicles can participate.

The line-up at next year’s event will include the usual array of motorbikes, cars, ATVs, trucks and other models derived from existing vehicles, with major manufacturers intending to take first place in their respective segment.

Toyota is one such firm, announcing last week that it will be taking on Dakar 2017 with a freshly enhanced adaptation of the Hilux pickup range that is popular thanks to its ruggedness and reliability in many places worldwide.

Representing Toyota: The Hilux Evo

The Hilux Evo that will be attempting to beat all comers in the race is actually based around a two-wheel-drive design rather than the four-wheel-drive set-up that many might expect. This allows it to adhere to the rules of next year’s rally and also has an advantage in terms of the overall weight of the pickup.

The standard road-going all-wheel-drive Hilux truck weighs in at just over 1.9 tonnes, whereas its Evo equivalent tips the scales at a much more impressive 1.3 tonnes. It also comes with a high-tech suspension system which offers a lot more travel, enabling it to absorb the heavy impacts that are likely to be suffered as it careers across rough, uneven terrain.

The driver of the Hilux Evo will be able to control the degree to which the tyres are inflated in real time, meaning that adjustments can be made to cope with different surfaces. Engineers have adjusted the positioning of the engine, mounting it as low as possible to give the truck more stability and avoid the likelihood of rollovers occurring.

Team spokesperson Glyn Hall said that the engine was a V8 unit which is carried over from the pickup that Toyota entered in the last Dakar Rally, which he described as being a tried and tested power plant of which the engineers already had plenty of experience.

Dakar 2017 Taking Place in South America

In 2017 the majority of the rally will be taking place at elevations of more than 2000 metres above sea level, which is something that has to be taken into account when designing the vehicles that are going to take part. In the case of the Hilux Evo, that means ensuring that the V8 can gain access to air and oxygen easily - a factor which is helped by its lack of reliance on a turbo charger.

Taking place in South America, the Dakar Rally 2017 will be prepared for by Toyota and many other manufacturers over the coming months, with the Hilux Evo pickup still set to face extensive tests in order to determine its suitability for the competition, according to Business Vans.

The race itself will kick off on the 2nd of January from the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, before concluding almost two weeks later in Buenos Aires, with perhaps the Hilux claiming victory in Argentina.

Just as this race-ready pickup is proof of Toyota’s commitment to building hard-wearing, long-lasting commercial vehicles, the large number of used trucks and vans from this firm that remain on the market act as further testament to its ingenuity.

Categories: Toyota /

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