From one extreme to another

Toyota’s journey to the 2016 Dakar Rally

Dakar’s back for its eighth successive year in South America but the contrast in temperatures and terrain will ensure this year’s racing is far from predictable.

Another year, another 14 days of madcap racing across some the world’s most gruelling off-road terrain in the greatest endurance race on Earth – and for Toyota motorsport fans to sit back and soak up the spectacle.

Dakar 2016 alternates difficulty and terrain across Argentina and Bolivia with 556 competitors spanning 60 nationalities and the route becoming more demanding as the action unfolds.

Requiring months of physical preparation, mechanical fine-tuning and logistical adjustments, the rally warms up in Buenos Aires on 2 January, begins in earnest in Rosario the following day, travels north to the salt flats of Bolivia and finishes back in Argentina 14 days later.


Famed for its diverse summits and landscapes – from alternating sandy and rocky terrains to punishing hill climbs and river crossings – Argentina is a country of mountains that’ll ensure drivers remain focused as the daily challenges loom.


The 37th staging of the rally will see South Africa’s imperious Giniel de Villiers and German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz back in the Toyota Hilux. The pair came a very close second in 2015 – their third top-three finish in four years reflecting the Hilux’s incredible resilience and dependability – and will be determined to go one better in 2016.

Toyota reigned supreme in the Production category last year with Team Land Cruiser’s Jun Mitsuhashi securing his fifth Dakar title followed by Nicolas Gibon in second with Alejandro Yacopini third.

As always, we wish all the competing Toyota teams the very best of luck and will be posting all the latest team updates during the buildup and the race proper.


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