During preparations for the 2020 Dakar Rally, Fernando Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma took the opportunity to put the revised Toyota Hilux to the test.
The new model, a heavy revision of the existing pickup truck, features dramatically updated styling and modernised interior, but the changes are more than skin deep.
Alongside revised suspension geometry, there’s also a new 2.8-litre engine, a development exclusively revealed by Professional Pickup and 4×4. The new engine is expected to produce 205hp, with a torque figure of at least 500Nm.
Somewhat different to his Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux, Alonso was still impressed with the new truck, commenting that “the new engine, the 2.8-litre, behaves amazingly well. It’s very powerful.”
After using a rally stage to test the Hilux to its limits, over gravel and dirt, Alonso added: “Hilux is an icon and I’ve always been a fan. It was good to test the new Hilux in a challenging environment and to push it to the limits. The new suspension feels great. Even when you push it, the comfort is still there.”
Alonso and Coma brought exceptional experience to the task. Alonso is a two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and reigning FIA World Endurance Championship title holder with Toyota Gazoo Racing, two-time Formula 1 World Champion and winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Coma is a five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike class and six-time FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion. Their first Dakar entry as a pairing resulted in a creditable 13th place finish earlier in 2020.