I’m a big fan of off-road motorsports. Growing up watching WRC, Dakar Rally, and enduro, I’ve always imagined what it would be like to drive a thoroughbred rally car, or ride a top-tier enduro bike through some of the world’s most grueling off-road courses. Needless to say, my brand choices when it comes to the vehicles in my garage are clearly influenced by those of motorsport, as I’ve owned multiple KTMs in the past.
Speaking of which, Toyota’s been making it pretty big in the rally world recently, with the Hilux Rally Car proving to be a highly successful machine. The pickup truck-based rally racer won the FIA world cup in 2016, 2017, and 2021, as well as the Dakar Rally in 2019, 2022, and 2023. This inevitably played a role in my decision in buying my most recent daily driver, a 2023 Toyota Hilux. Yes, I know, my pickup truck has nothing to do with the Hilux Dakar from a technical point of view, but hey, it’s also wearing a Toyota badge. I slapped on a set of aftermarket wheels resembling those of the Hilux Dakar, too, just to give it a touch of rally.
My personal Toyota Hilux which I sometimes imagine as a Dakar Rally car.
So yes, I’m a Toyota fanboy, and at the same time, an off-road moto junkie. As such, I couldn’t help but get all excited when I saw this video of a Toyota Hilux Dakar going head to head in a hill climb race against a Sherco hard enduro bike. Posted by none other than Red Bull Motorsports themselves, the video was set in the Sani Pass, situated on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. The pass is by no means a walk in the park, as it’s not paved in any way whatsoever. That said, it’s in terrain like this that the Hilux Dakar and the Sherco 300SE Factory both shine the brightest.
The Sherco 300 was piloted by seven-time Roof of Africa winner Wade Young, while the Toyota Hilux Rally Car was driven by Dakar veteran Giniel De Villiers. The race was to be a time attack, with each of the vehicles rocketing up Sani Pass one by one against the clock. To raise the stakes even further, the loser would have to pay for a round of drinks, while drinking a shoey from the winner’s boot. So, who was going to be crowned the Victor? The Sherco or the Hilux?
The real Hilux Dakar which is obviously a completely different car.
The Sherco was first to do the run, with Wade Young launching hard from the starting point. We’re treated to a cacophony of two-stroke goodness as the bike works its way to the top of the pass, tackling hairpins, loose gravel, lots of rocks, all while throwing a bunch of smoke in its wake. After the four-kilometer stretch was over, the Sherco clocked in an impressive time of four minutes and four seconds.
Up next, the Hilux. Its twin-turbo V6 sang its song all the way to the top, accompanied by epic slides and lots and lots of dust. The long-travel suspension soaked up all the rocks and ruts, making it look like the Hilux was driving on smooth, paved roads. At the end of it all, Giniel De Villiers made it to the top in a blistering three minutes and 45 seconds.
After all was said and done, is it really a surprise that the Hilux took the win? After all, it has 356 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, and not to mention chunky tires and four-wheel-drive at its disposal. If anything, Wade Young’s impressive four-minute run just goes to show how much skill the dude has, given that he’s packing a fraction of the power and traction of the Hilux.
Source: Red Bull Motorsports2023-12-11T04:11:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd