In its Dakar Rally debut, the bonneted Hino 600 Series hybrid truck has finished in 22nd place overall in 2022 Dakar Rally which took place from 1st to 14th January in Saudi Arabia.
It was the 31st consecutive finish for Hino in the Dakar Rally since its first entry in 1991, when it was the first Japanese commercial vehicle maker to start in the rally.
In its third outing in Saudi Arabia, the gruelling 2022 Dakar Rally started in Jeddah and raced over 8404 kilometres, of which 4129 kilometres were Special Stages (SS).
Hino Team Sugawara overcame the many restrictions imposed by COVID-19 to develop and test the first-ever Hino racing hybrid system.
The results were a result of the driving skills and extensive rally experience displayed by driver and team director Teruhito Sugawara, and the teamwork from the navigators, Hirokazu Somemiya, and Yuji Mochizuki, mechanics and support members of Hino Team Sugawara.
Consistent results in the first ten stages saw the Hino 600 Series on track for a top 20 result but this was stymied by an automatic transmission problem in the penultimate stage.
“The vehicle equipped with the hybrid system was developed over a period of about two years, and it was a project that was supported by many people,” said Mr Sugawara.
Team navigator Yuji Mochizuki said:
“This year was a year of challenges, so although we fell back in the rankings, what we gained was great. I am sure that I will be able to use this information for future development.
“On the other hand, the hood cab made the ride more comfortable and it was physically easier.
The Hino Dakar Rally truck is powered by an enhanced version of the Hino A09C engine, the production version of which is available in the all-new Hino 700 Series and 500 Series Wide Cab trucks in Australia.
The truck also features full-time 4WD and an 8,866 litre direct injection turbocharged and intercooled engine, which is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.