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HiLux look-alike wins the 2019 Dakar .



Toyota’s racing HiLux look-alike machine has triumphed with a milestone first victory in the world's most gruelling rally, The Dakar. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered race machine to win the Dakar in the South American era.

Champion driver Nasser Al Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel cruised to the finish line with a 46-minute cushion after a 3000km marathon through terrain dominated by Peru's tricky and often treacherous sand dunes.

Competing under the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA banner, they took no risks on the short final stage of one of the toughest Dakar rallies ever.

A day earlier, Al Attiyah won a third stage on a day that caused major problems for three of his closest rivals. The Qatari-based master has now won three Dakar titles.


Not a modified HiLux

It’s important to note that there are virtually no parts from the HiLux in a race car that looks somewhat like a HiLux. The Gazoo Racing machine has a different chassis and lighter bodywork. It also has independent wishbone suspension at all four corners, with multiple shock absorbers.

The powertrain is completely different from the HiLux’s, featuring a five-litre Lexus V8 naturally-aspirated petrol engine, mounted well back and low down in the frame, intruding into the cabin. Output is around 300kW, with more than 600Nm of torque.

The choice of a naturally-aspirated petrol engine is somewhat ironic, given the fact that Australian-market HiLux and Prado petrol-engined models are no longer available.