The 2025 Dakar Rally will be the first appearance by Renault's sister brand Dacia at this esteemed event, and the company recently revealed the vehicle that will compete in the race. This prototype, developed in tandem with Prodrive, goes by the name Sandrider. By soliciting feedback from drivers throughout the design process, Dacia highlights its dedication to practicality. In addition to making the vehicle lighter, the design team prioritised user-friendly features like easy access to the spare tyre and a magnetic panel to keep bolts from falling out, even in difficult desert terrain. Instead of using the conventional white paint job, the Sandrider uses infrared-resistant carbon fibre to regulate body temperature. Nasser al-Attiyah (five times Dakar winner), Sebastien Loeb (nine times World Rally Champion), and Cristina Gutierrez Herrero (Dakar 2024 winner) are all part of Dacia's strong driver lineup. Due to its innovative design and strategic partnership, the Sandrider is a strong candidate for the 2025 Dakar Rally.
Dacia Sandrider: Mechanical Details
The Sandrider is equipped with a potent 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine that generates an amazing 360bhp and 539Nm of torque. A six-speed sequential gearbox, equipped with standard four-wheel drive, transfers this power to the wheels. The Sandrider, which boasts a lightweight tubular chassis, is 15 kilogrammes lighter than its competitors in the prototype category, according to Dacia. In the interest of maximising efficiency, unnecessary panels have been removed, and the panels that remain are made of carbon-based materials. The prototype has 350 mm of travel on each side of its double wishbone suspension and rides on 17-inch wheels with 37-inch tyres.
To meet the unique requirements of drivers and co-drivers, the Sandrider brings interesting new features. An aeroplane-inspired technique for improving visibility—an anti-reflective paint coating—covers the top half of the dashboard. In addition, the crew members can tailor the arrangement of particular dashboard components to meet their own needs.
Ahead of extensive testing in various regions, Dacia intends to showcase the Sandrider during the Rallye du Maroc in October 2024. Before facing the ultimate tests in the 2025 Dakar Rally and the World Rally-Raid Championship, this debut will set the stage for the Sandrider.