Last year's Dakar Rally saw Ssangyong take on the endurance race with a modified Tivoli. They finished 32nd overall and proved that they have got what it takes to compete in the unforgiving race.
Now, Ssangyong will join the 'world's toughest rally' once more with an all-new vehicle. Say hello to the 2019 Ssangyong Rexton DKR.
Developed by the company's motorsport division in Spain, the Rexton DKR is a V8-powered dune buggy purpose-built to take on the grueling 2019 Dakar Rally. The race itself will be split into 10 stages that spans 11 days (January 6 – January 17, 2019).
As mentioned earlier, the DKR is powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine that produces a healthy 450 PS. It has a MoTeC engine management system which can automatically change the engine mapping with a flip of a switch. This will allow the driver to set the Rexton's pace during the duration of the endurance rally, as well as adjust the available power on certrain terrains.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed Sadev sequential manual transmission. Apart from that, the drivetrain also benefits from a triple-disc ceramic clutch that is rated to handle 1,500 Nm of torque, and a Torsen self-locking differential that aids in acceleration and traction.
Providing grip is a set of chunky Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires that measure 37x12.50/R17. Shod around those tires are Raceline 17-inch alloy wheels that feature self-inflating technology that can be operated from the cockpit. King shock absorbers, helical extension springs, and AP brakes round up the equipment on the Rexton DKR.
As far as its exterior design is concerned, the dune buggy takes inspriation from the Rexton SUV, and then some. Featuring muscular design elements as well as sharp angles, the Rexton DKR is both aerodynamic and tall which makes for better ground clearance. The chassis, on the other hand, is made up of chrome-molybdenum which gives the buggy good torsional stiffness.
Piloting the 2019 Rexton DKR will be Spanish driver Oscar Fuertes. Meanwhile, Diego Vallejo will serve as co-driver. The two are no stranger to Dakar as they were the same team that competed last year when they took on the rally last year in a highly-modified Tivoli. They finished 32nd overall and were the second rookie team to cross the finish line last year.