It’s not every day that you see a race car based on a medium-duty truck, but that’s exactly what we have here now that Hino has revealed their entry into the 2022 Dakar Rally. The rally rig is based on the Hino 600 medium-duty truck, which is more commonly seen with a Ryder cargo box affixed to the rear, but clearly there have been some modifications made.
For one, that cargo container has been swapped for an aerodynamic box carrying a 211-gallon fuel tank, spares and supplies for the grueling 5,000-mile desert contest. That includes extras of the Hino’s massive XZL 14.00 R20 tires that measure 49 inches tall with a sidewall of 14.7 inches.
Powering the Hino is an 8.9-liter diesel straight-six, turbocharged and intercooled to produce 789 horsepower at 2,900 rpm and a mountain-moving 1,693 pound-feet of torque at 1,700 rpm. And for the first time in Hino’s 30 years of Dakar Rally participation, the engine will be mated to a hybrid system squeezing out an additional 276 horsepower, for a total of 1,065.
Power is dispersed to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with high and low range, as well as a center-locking diff. All in all the truck weighs about 18,960 pounds, which makes it all the more impressive that photos and video show it catching air as it hurtles forth like a rampaging bison.
Hino has been competing in the Dakar Rally in the Truck Division since 1991. In that time, they’ve won their class (under 10 liters) a total of 20 times, 12 of them consecutively since 2010. In 1997 and 2005, Hino also took the overall win, besting some of the truly gargantuan trucks in the over-10-liter class. But even reaching the finish line at the Dakar is a challenge, as the race has only a 20.5% completion rate among participants.
“I am looking forward to seeing how far we can face the big rivals in production,” said Teruhito Sugawara, who will be behind the wheel of the race truck.
The running of the 2022 Dakar Rally will begin in Ha’il, Saudi Arabia, heading east towards the Persian Gulf before turning south towards the vast sands of the Empty Quarter. The route then loops northwest to Riyadh before continuing westward to the Red Sea and the finish at Jeddah. The rally lasts two weeks, from January 2-14, 2022.