Currently reading: Ssangyong Rexton DKR Dakar Rally challenger launched
Korean firm unveils new V8-powered challenger for South American event that takes cues from its largest SUV

Ssangyong has launched its new Ssangyong 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


Read our review

Car review

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

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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