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.