Korean firm unveils new V8-powered challenger for South American event that takes cues from its largest SUV
James Attwood, digital editor
3 December 2018

Ssangyong has launched its new Rexton DKR, which will compete in next month’s ultra-tough Dakar Rally.

The machine has been built by the Korean firm's Spain-based Ssangyong Motorsport division and will be driven by Spaniard Oscar Fuertes in the 11-day marathon rally, which takes place in Peru from January 6-17.

The Rexton DKR is a dune buggy-style creation with a tubular chassis that has little in common with the large SUV of the same name other than some styling cues. It features a 450bhp V8 mounted in the back of the car, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox with a Torsen self-locking differential.

The car weighs less than 1900kg. Ssangyong says it can achieve 0-62mph in 4.4sec and a top speed of 122mph. It competes in the T1-3 class for two-wheel-drive, petrol-powered vehicles.

This year’s Dakar takes place almost entirely on desert stages, so the Rexton DKR is fitted with 17in tyres and double-arm suspension to cope with the uneven, sandy terrain.

Former Spanish national champion rally driver Fuertes and co-driver Diego Vallejo contested last year’s Dakar in a Ssangyong Tivoli-based machine, finishing as the second rookie team and 32nd overall.

Read more

Ssangyong reviews on Autocar

Racing a Ssangyong Musso around Britain's mini-Nürburgring

Dakar Rally: how to survive the world's toughest race

Our Verdict

Ssangyong Rexton

The Ssangyong Rexton gets a refreshed look and far more luxury to go alongside its durability and cheap pricepoint, but overall it remains a determinedly old-fashioned SUV

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