Dacia unveils its revolutionary car for 2025 Dakar Rally


Christened the Dacia Sandrider, the prototype built in collaboration with Prodrive was formally unveiled at a presentation in Paris by programme director Denis Le Vot.

Five-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez will serve as Dacia’s three factory drivers, as announced last year.

During the presentation, Dacia also also revealed that it will contest the entire season of the World Rally-Raid Championship next year, instead of focusing solely on Dakar.

Dacia has taken into account the requirements set by the drivers while preparing the design of the Sandrider, as director in charge, David Durand, explained. The Romanian brand’s car maintains the characteristics of the existing Prodrive-built Hunter but features a new three-litre turbocharged V6 engine, which will be powered by synthetic fuel.

Prodrive, which retains its logo on the front of the car, helped Dacia find the ideal weight balance, lower the centre of gravity and introduce innovative systems, including a patented thermal management system that uses infrared pigment to lower the temperature. 

Dacia plans to launch the Sandrider in April in the UK, although the first tests will not take place until June during three sessions in Morocco. In October, Dacia will compete in the Morocco Rally in preparation for the 2025 Dakar Rally.

Dacia has committed to compete in Dakar until at least 2027, as confirmed in the presentation.

Loeb said there was one area where Dacia and Prodrive paid particular attention.

“There was a lot of discussion about many parts, but the main thing was visibility because sometimes we have problems about where we are going, so we did a lot of testing. We thought it was going to benefit a lot.”

Gutierrez said she proposed adding a novel system to avoid losing parts in the middle of the desert, which could be very advantageous when, for example, punctures occur.

“It was great to have us involved in the design, and I proposed including a magnetic plate to avoid losing time with some parts of the vehicle.”

The Sandrider improves reliability with a four-wheel drive package, making it firmer on the axles, plus a modification to the gearbox, which now has a different finish. The brakes are also new, with discs and pedals changed to have a system that riders are more comfortable with and requires less physical effort. 

Dacia also announced Tiphanie Isnard would act as the team manager. The Frenchwoman has gained a wealth of experience with Loeb, as well as victories in Dakar with Stephane Peterhansel after first taking over his logistics management and then that of the entire team.

Philip Dunabin will be the technical director, and he is far from a newcomer, as he has worked on the technical side for many years before on this type of event.

Dacia Sandrider

Photo by: Dacia

Dacia Sandrider

Dacia Sandrider

Photo by: Dacia

Dacia Sandrider

Dacia Sandrider

Photo by: Dacia

Dacia Sandrider

Dacia Sandrider

Photo by: Dacia

Dacia Sandrider



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