Toyota Gazoo Racing is fielding an all-new Hilux in the 2022 Dakar rally. Surprisingly, it has inherited the all-new, tenth-generation Toyota Land Cruiser’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine along with a few more custom mods. Toyota’s latest Dakar rally machine is debuting at the Saudi Arabian desert starting on January 2, 2022.
Despite having a lighter V6 engine (last year’s Dakar Hilux GR had a mid-mounted 5.0-liter V8 gas engine), the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ (yes, that’s what it’s called) is slightly heavier at 4,409 pounds (2,000 kilograms) to conform with the latest FIA regulations. And yes, the V6 engine remains mounted in the rear to deliver near-perfect weight distribution.
In addition, Toyota claims the V6 will pump out more power in race trim, although the actual numbers remain unknown at this time. For comparison’s sake, the 2022 Land Cruiser’s V6 engine is good for 409 horsepower and – more importantly – 479 pound-feet of torque from as low as 2,000 rpm.
In other markets, the latest Land Cruiser also comes with a twin-turbo diesel V6 generating 304 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, but the gas version can punch harder at higher engine speeds. We reckon the GR Hilux T1+ will have upwards of 450 horsepower at its disposal, give or take.
Other changes include more suspension travel, now increased to 13.8-inches (350 mm) from the previous model’s 11.0-inches (280 mm). It also has bigger 37-inch off-road tires (up from 32-inches) that are now 12.6-inches (320 mm) wide. Of course, the truck is resplendent in Toyota Gazoo Racing’s red, white, and black livery.
Toyota Gazoo Racing is constantly developing its newest Dakar Hilux T1+ in preparation for the 2022 rally season. “Our new GR DKR Hilux T1+ is progressing well, and we are confident that the new car will allow us to compete on a new level this January,” said Glyn Hall, Team Principal Toyota Gazoo Racing.
Toyota GR is entering a four-crew team at the incoming Dakar rally spearheaded by veteran desert racers Nasser Al-Attiyah and navigator Mathieu Baumel. The 2022 Dakar rally will follow a clockwise route in the Saudi Arabian Desert, beginning in the northern city of Ha’il on January 2 and finishing on January 14 in Jeddah.