Following its success in the 2018 Dakar Rally, where Óscar Fuertes and Diego Vallejo earned second place among newcomers and thirtieth overall, SsangYong Spain presented the Rexton DKR in Madrid. This vehicle represents the company’s most powerful weapon when it comes to taking on their second consecutive go at the world’s toughest and most demanding rally. Óscar and Diego will return once again this year with their goal of reaching the finish line.
Ten years after holding its first edition in South America, the 2019 Dakar Rally will take place entirely in Peru from 6-17 January 2019, with a looped circuit that will start and end in Lima. Over the course of the ten stages planned, participants will have to cover a total of some 5,000 kilometres. Of these, 70% will run over sand and dunes, including 3,000 km of special stages, and a loop track with a mere 2,000 km of link road that won’t go without its own difficulties and challenges.
As a specialist in SUVs and 4x4s since 1954, and Korea’s oldest car manufacturer, SsangYong is facing this challenge with a new vehicle that was developed entirely by SsangYong Motorsport in Spain: the new Rexton DKR, which elegantly combines the buggy concept with the Korean firm’s internationally recognised trademark muscular design features. The goal for the 2019 edition was to strengthen the vehicle’s reliability against the elements, as it is subjected to greater fatigue during this year’s Dakar rally, building a faster, lighter, and more reliable vehicle.
New for this year, the team has also registered a 6×6 truck that will compete in the race and assist Óscar and Diego if necessary, as well as a standard Rexton and a motorhome with the goal of improving assistance and providing the necessary technical support for such a long and difficult race.
Just as was the case for the 2018 Dakar Rally, a buggy format with rear-wheel drive was chosen for the Rexton DKR, as this type of vehicle is best equipped for the race the organisation has planned. This spectacular racing vehicle will use a powerful 450 HP V8 engine, and will compete in the T1.3 category, which includes two-wheel drive petrol engines. It weighs 1,900 kg in running order, and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 4.4 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 195 kph.
The Dakar Rally is always a first-rate challenge, both for drivers and co-pilots, as well as vehicles and teams. It is a challenge that demands participants bring their best on a physical, mental, athletic, and mechanical level. For this reason, Óscar, Diego, and the entire SsangYong Motorsport Spain team have been preparing for this incredibly special event practically since the last edition ended. “This second time participating in the Dakar, we will once again set out with the main goal of reaching the finish line, and hopefully improving our general standing position, paying extra attention to the stages that run over dunes, but always keeping in mind the goal of reaching the finish line as one of the best in our category. We are convinced that our cumulative experience at the Dakar Rally, and our new Rexton DKR, will help us perform at the highest level. We think that there’s no better occasion to demonstrate that”, Óscar Fuertes says.