People love the off-road ability of the Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser, so the company is smashing them together for its new machine for taking on the 2022 Dakar Rally. The event will kick off on January 2, 2022, in Saudi Arabia.
The name for this machine is the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+, which doesn't exactly roll off of the tongue. It features a body that evokes the brand's pickup but with huge wheel arch flares and a massive front skid plate. There's a short truck bed on the back. It rides on 37-inch tyres that measure 320 millimetres (12.6 inches) wide. Plus, there're 350 millimetres (13.78 inches) of suspension travel.
Gallery: Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ for Dakar 2022
The Land Cruiser connection is in the engine bay where the vehicle adopts the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 from the latest generation of the SUV. Toyota reports the output is "significantly higher" than the road-going version's 409 bhp (305 kilowatts) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-metres) of torque.
Toyota says that the truck on display here isn't the final version because the vehicle is still undergoing testing. The automaker intends a debut of the race-ready rally machine later in the year.
Toyota will have four driver/navigator teams driving these speedy trucks for the rally, including three-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. They are competing in the T1 category, just like the recently announced and similarly mean-looking Prodrive Hunter T1+ that the Bahrain Raid Xtreme squad is using.
The 2022 running of the Dakar Rally is shaping up to be an exciting event. Audi is prepping its RS Q E-Tron that runs on electricity but has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as a range-extender. The machine just completed a two-week test in Morocco. They discovered that thermal management of the battery was a challenge of the vehicle's current setup.