A four-wheel drive 500 Series with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain finished 10th in the 45th running of the world’s most difficult motorsport competition, which took place in Saudi Arabia for the third time between 31 December and 15 January.
Hino was once again the only Japanese truck manufacturer to compete in this arduous two-week tournament, which featured significantly more formidable sand dunes than in the past and took a tremendous toll on competitors.
Hino Dakar crews on podium Hino’s incredible record of podium finishes in the grueling Dakar Rally continued as a four-wheel drive 500 Series with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain finished third.
The Hino entered by the Hino Sugawara Team with an all-Japanese crew of Teruhito Sugawara (driver), Hirokazu Somemiya (co-driver), and Yuji Mochizuki (mechanic) placed tenth out of 56 trucks. It also won the category for vehicles with engines less than 10 liters.
This was Teruhito Sugawara’s 23rd Dakar Rally, including 16 as a driver and 5 as his father’s co-driver. He has now won the sub-10-liter class fourteen times. In 2001, he placed second, which was his best finish.
Since 1991, Hino has competed in every Dakar Rally, with its best finish being a clean sweep of the first three overall positions in 1997. In each of the 31 Dakar Rallies in which Hino has competed, at least one of its vehicles has completed the event.
This year’s participation was a vastly enhanced version of the Hino diesel-electric hybrid truck that finished 22nd in its Dakar Rally debut in 2022. The truck is a North American-market 600 Series with a hood. Underneath, it resembles the four-wheel drive version of the 500 Series, which has been a perennial best-seller in South Africa.
This year’s Dakar Rally began on December 31 in Sea Camp on the coast of the Red Sea and concluded on January 15 in Damman on the opposite side of the Arabian Peninsula. The course of 8,549 kilometers includes 4,706 kilometers of timed special stages, comprised of a prologue and 14 days of competition.