Hino aims to rewrite the record books with its assault on the 2018 Dakar Rally.
To be raced through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina beginning on 6 January, the 2018 Dakar will see Hino Team Sugawara enter two 500 Series trucks in the highly-competitive Under 10 litre Class.
Hino Team Sugawara holds the record of eight straight Class wins in the category, while team leader and Dakar legend Yoshimasa Sugawara will be making his 35th straight start in the event, aiming for his 27th consecutive finish.
The “iron man of Dakar”, 76-year-old Sugawara’s entry into the 2017 Dakar event was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sugawara and Hino first paired up in 1992, after a long-distance rally career on motorbikes in what was then the Paris-Dakar in 1983.
Hino was the first Japanese truck manufacturer to enter Dakar in 1991, and against a plethora of larger-capacity trucks chasing outright honours, continues to strive for Class success in what has become a flat-out sprint from start to finish.
Both vehicles will run the enhanced Hino A09C 6 cylinder engine launched earlier this year in Australia as an option of the new 500 Series Wide Cab 2017 models, with Truck 1 captained by Sugawara also running the same exterior design as the facelifted Hino 500 Series.
Key specifications of the two 2018 Dakar Rally Hino trucks include the 8,866cm3 direct injection turbocharged and intercooled engine matched to a six speed direct drive gearbox with secondary transmission, two speed transfer and a part time all- wheel drive (AWD) feature in Car 1 and full time AWD in Car 2.
“Dakar is rightly regarded around the world as the toughest event of its type anywhere,” Hino National Marketing Manager, Dimitri Andreatidis said.
“Hino is very proud of its reliability record in achieving so many consecutive finishes and of our strong performances, regularly beating many of the larger trucks.”
Yoshimasa Sugawara’s co-driver/navigator will be Katsumi Hamura, while the second Hino 500 Series will be crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and co-driver/navigator Mitsugu Takahashi.
Support for the two Hino 500 Series trucks will come from a hand-selected crew of mechanics chosen from Hino dealerships across Japan.
The Dakar Rally will finish on 20 January 2018.