We’ve been waiting for the moment when the Repsol Rally Team would take the Toyota Hilux to the 2021 Dakar, as it’s the most promising model to date. It’s relatively easy to handle and boasts incredible balance, though like all top-level vehicles requires the right adaptations in order to make full use of its capabilities.
As opposed to the commercial model, the Toyota Hilux Overdrive is a prototype with a tubular chassis designed to endure the toughest conditions in all-terrain rallies. Its petrol-fuelled, 5-litre V8 engine delivers 345 horsepower and an awesome 560 Nm of torque.
Its six-speed Sadev sequential gearbox has controls to handle differentials.
The brakes from AP Racing, among the best racing brake manufacturers, come with giant discs with six-piston calipers on both axles.
And its double wishbone suspension has a double shock absorber system with generous wheel motion.
Isidre’s Toyota Hilux Overdrive has adapted controls on the steering wheel from Guidosimplex that let him do all the driving with his hands, as well as the indispensable smart cushion to prevent pressure sores.
Isidre himself says that ‘The Nubolo cushion, as it is known commercially, allows me to compete safely again. It has eight areas with air cells (from more to less critical). Each area is controlled by microsensors and pressure valves. They are like bubbles with air inside, and for each area we decide a maximum and minimum pressure level. The cushion varies the pressure to favour blood flow in my glutes, which are under constant pressure, thereby preventing skin lesions’.