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Hino Team Sugawara is chasing a record eighth successive class victory in the 2017 Dakar Rally, which starts on 2 January.
The two-truck team will race through the South American desert, setting off from Acunción in Paraguay and finishing in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires on January 14. The team’s 4x4 rally trucks are loosely based on the brand's medium-duty Hino 500 Series.
Hino Team Sugawara is chasing a number of records in the 2017 Dakar Rally, including its 26th straight finish and eighth straight victory in the Under 10-litre class.
The Hino Team Sugawara 4x4 rally trucks are loosely based on the medium-duty Hino 500 Series.
Upgrades to the two trucks include further engine, chassis and suspension upgrades based on feedback from the 2016 Silk Way Rally, which served as a testing and shake-down opportunity for Hino Team Sugawara.
Key specifications of the two 2017 Dakar Rally Hino trucks include a 8,866cm3 direct-injection turbocharged and intercooled engine matched to a six-speed direct-drive gearbox with high-low range switching.
The A09C-TI engine in its race specification outputs 478kW of power at 2200rpm and 2255Nm of torque at 1200rpm.
Hino Team Sugawara’s line-up consists of father and son drivers Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara, with navigators Mitsugu Takahashi and Hiroyuki Sugiura and a carefully selected team of Hino dealer mechanics and support personnel from Fukushima Hino, Ishikawa Hino, Okayama Hino and Hiroshima Hino.
2017 could go down in history as the most pivotal year of the decade, with truck sales stabilising in line with the political climate in Canberra and innovative technology causing healthy competition in the OEM arena. But there is one critical unknown.