Easily one of the toughest, meanest new vehicles of 2014, the 2008 DKR
is being prepped for Peugeot's 2015 return to the Dakar Rally. We've already looked at the drastic body modifications, and now we have the details on what will be propelling the rally car up powdery hills, through fiery canyons and over rough desert floors.
After a record-breaking performance in the 208 T16
at last year's Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Peugeot announced a few weeks back that it would again team with Red Bull and Total, this time with its sights on next year's Dakar Rally. The announcement marks the French brand's return after a 25-year absence. This week, it shared the initial details and pictures of the off-roader it will put to the test on South American soil. The 2008 DKR is a big, brutal version of its namesake crossover, and it looks hungry for a win.
Despite an available ALL4 all-wheel drive, the MINI Countryman
isn't necessarily the most ideal car to take off road – unless of course it's outfitted for Dakar dominance. Last year's event saw the Countryman taking home the top spot and four other top-ten finishes
, with the overall victory secured by French driver Stéphane Peterhansel in his 10th career Dakar win. The Monster X-Raid Team has prepared the Countryman to defend its strong performance at last year's Dakar Rally .
New names dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI being the most obvious with a 1-2, but also Iveco broke the Eastern Block stranglehold on the truck section. Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won his tenth Dakar (six on motorcycles, four in cars) ahead of MINI teammate Nani Roma (a prior motorcycle winner). MINI's new owner BMW must be delighted to add the world's toughest race to its illustrious heritage, even if that MINI looks a tad bigger than your average Countryman.
The Arab world has a new sporting superstar following the success of Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah in winning the 2011 Dakar Rally – the longest and toughest motor race in the world. Al Attiyah headed a 1-2-3 finish for Volkswagen’s TDI diesel Touareg 3 race cars, while the usual suspects fought a tooth-and-nail battle on KTMs for the laurels – Depres and Coma battled throughout the event on times with Coma besting last year's winner at the end. In the truck section, Kamaz's Vladimir Chagin repeated last year's win while Red Bull sponsored the three major category winners for the third year in a row – we're not sure what that means but it's quite some feat.
’s turbo diesel technology completed a comprehensively successful title defence in the 2010 Dakar Rally
, finishing 1-2-3 with WRC legend Carlos Sainz (bottom right) finally winning the most prestigious “raid” in the world at his fourth attempt. In the motorcycles, Cyril Depres (top left) won his third Dakar Rally, after 9000 km across Argentina and Chile. He rode in triumph into Buenos Aires to complete his third Dakar victory and the tenth consecutive victory for Austrian brand KTM
. Indeed, apart from Sainz and Quad bike winner Marcos Patronelli who finished second last year, all the winners were old hands. Yamaha dominated the Quads as usual with a 1-2-3, the “tsar” (Russia’s Vladimir Chagin) won the truck category for the sixth time, driving a Kamaz (bottom left). The rugged Russian Kamaz truck
won EVERY stage in the 2010 event, finished 1-2 and picked up a ninth Dakar win.
If you’re planning on choosing a roadgoing car based on racetrack results, maybe you’d better think again. With the world’s greatest off-road race, the Dakar Rally
, currently powering its way through Chile, it’s interesting to note that the leaders of the event (BMW and Volkswagen) are among the least reliable 4x4 vehicles on the road, where it really counts. Newly released and highly credible information from the U.K. has revealed the most and least reliable pre-owned 4x4 and SUV cars on the market (see the top 10 lists here). Honda’s CR-V won the crown of the most reliable 4x4 by a fair margin while Audi’s A6 Allroad is the most unreliable 4x4 on the road, with Volkswagen’s Touareg and BMW’s X5 placing second and third most unreliable. That’s right folks, despite performing spectacularly in race events such as the Dakar, the VW Touareg is the second most unreliable 4x4 on the market, according to Warranty Direct
Tenere is a desert region in the south central Sahara - a place where, in 1977, Frenchman Thierry Sabine famously got lost on his motorbike for three days during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. The rest as they say is history - Sabine returned to France to create the Paris-Dakar rally and Yamaha's two wheeled namesake dominated the event in the 90s. The Yamaha Tenere made a comeback in recent times in with the new XTZ660, but the brand has bigger things in store with a twin-cylinder "Super Tenere" in the pipeline which will compete against the BMW R1200GS. Yamaha gave some hints as to the makeup of the new adventure bike at the Tokyo Motor Show with its eye-catchingly bizarre mock-up - which was appropriately wrapped in desert garb - sporting a shaft drive and side mounted radiators.
Joint Indian-English company Agni Motors’s claim of making quality, high efficiency and high performance electric motors gained massive credence today when it clearly bested the world’s fastest electric motorcycles to win the first clean emissions (AKA electric) motorcycle Grand Prix at an average speed of 87.434 mph. It’s place in history is assured by the landmark win, but it was the team’s dominance that was most surprising. It averaged 10 mph faster around the 37 mile course than its closest rival and established itself as the first superstar company to emerge in a fledgling giant industry.