Two days ago, the 35th annual Dakar Rally kicked off, with competitors from all over the world racing across some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Among the racers is a Toyota Landcruiser 200 powered by biodiesel, emitting 60% fewer emissions over the course of the 5,250 mile race across terrain that is as fragile as it is deadly.
The Toyota team is proudly all Japanese, and the Land Cruiser is an iconic vehicle all over the world. It’s the perfect candidate for a race like Dakar, which has racers zooming hundreds of miles per day across sand dunes, mountains, rivers, and barely-populated areas of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. It’s the ultimate off-road race, and the perfect place to test alternative drivetrains. Hybrid trucks have raced at Dakar before, but none have won just yet.
Also competing are several Toyota Hilux pickups powered by an even-more-powerful Lexus IS-F motor. The biodiesel Land Cruiser is the underdog I’m cheering for though, and we’ll know in about two weeks just how well this alt-fuel SUV handles the toughest race in the world.
Source: Autoblog Green