That is no easy face to love.
Often-forgotten Korean marque SsangYong have unveiled their 2019 entrant into the Dakar Rally, after having proved very successful in this year’s showing with a Tivoli-inspired racer. For next year, SsangYong’s modelled their Dakar entrant after their larger Rexton, and given it an… interesting aesthetic.
The handiwork of SsangYong Motorsports in Spain, the new Rexton DKR entrant puts a body featuring Rexton cues (like the 6-point grille and large headlamps) on top of a dune-buggy body, which features the brand’s logo cut directly into the chassis. The rally car is touted as strong, light, and very potent, the latter thanks to a V8 engine mounted in the middle producing a healthy 335kW. So equipped, the Rexton DKR can hit 100km/h from rest in just 4.4-seconds, and hit a top-speed of 195km/h.
The Rexton DKR wil compete in the T1-3 class at the Dakar Rally, among other two-wheel drive petrol-powered models. The V8 engine features a MoTeC programmable switch which permits engine mapping changes on the go, while the fuel is held by Lightweight Pyrotect fuel tanks. Power is fed to the rear wheels via a 6-speed Sadev SL90-23 sequential manual gearbox, with a tri-disc ceramic clutch in the middle. There’s also a torque-sensing self-locking diff.
The Rexton DKR will be piloted by Oscar Fuertes, with Diego Vallejo beside him as co-driver. It’s the same pairing that sent the SsangYong Tivoli rally car to victory last year, managing to outlast more than half the cars that dropped out, and topping off those who remained, finishing 32nd in the overall ranking.