The Dakar rally is one of the toughest motorsport events in the world. And while the race has moved from the original African desert to the Middle East, one particular SUV has ruled in the production vehicle category – the Toyota Land Cruiser.
For 2023, the new Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport aims to continue that legacy and go for 10 straight victories in the Dakar Rally's production vehicle category. The LC300 for Dakar has been fitted with safety equipment such as roll cages, six-point harnesses, large-capacity fuel tanks, and fire extinguishers, while its 3.3-liter V6 turbodiesel engine keeps its factory specification.
Aside from the safety equipment, special springs and shock absorbers were installed, but the factory electronic kinetic dynamic suspension system (E-KDSS) has been retained. In addition, the brake system received uprated pads from Endless while the SUV rolls on 285/70/17 Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires with Magnesium forged 17 x 7.5 wheels from Enkei.
The LC300 GR Sport will be fielded by Team Land Cruiser led by team manager Yuji Kadoya, who has led them to consecutive victories. Car #1 consists of drivers Takashi Miura and Laurent Richitreusiter, while the second LC300 GR Sport will be driven by Ronald Basso and Jean-Michel Polat. Team TLC will also be supported by a total of 19 team members, which consist of French and Japanese staff.
Currently, the organizers of the 2023 Dakar Rally have yet to announce details of the race, but it is said to be the longest and most difficult rally since the event moved to the Middle East in 2020. The 2023 Dakar Rally will take place between December 31, 2022, to January 15, 2023, in Saudi Arabia.