Torque and the Dakar

Suhaib Kiani

Well-Known Member
Cutting the long question short, the current Dakar spec turbodiesels vs petrol V8s: Is it even a race?

We know that the turbodiesels have a torque advantage against the petrol V8s and they don't lose power as the track gains altitude. We also know they are more expensive, probably aren't all that much heavier and are allowed to smoke out a little more than they probably should....

What I don't know much about is how much the exact difference is or how the torque curves between the two engine compare with the restrictors on. Whether the petrol V8s can somehow make up for the gap playing around the regulations or if they would simply need a bigger restrictor. Another question that I think about is whether it makes sense to talk about 'torque per tonne' in an offroad context.....

Anyways, just wanted to put some thoughts out there.... the wait is killing me :)


Well-Known Member
While top speed is only a small portion of the overall effectiveness of a Dakar vehicle, last year we had a great opportunity to see what all the vehicles could so across the salt flats. Sadly, it seemed as if no one wanted to show their hand and it turned out to be a follow the leader affair.


Well-Known Member
IMO, there are several more factors that come into play (as in all racing) HP, Torque, Acceleration/gearing, usable power range/power band, and Traction.
Now add in interpreting the rules books writing in French (FIA,ASO) not everything is the exact meaning and context as written, (example- R.Acer interview ,I don't get the interpretation of it).
IMO, an engine builder/provider must maximize the air thru the restrictor.The Diesel guys might have an easier time of this because of the Turbo. But the HP drop because of altitude does effect both Diesel and Gasoline.There is still only X amount of Oxygen available.
I'm now of the belief for the gas guys ,engine displacement is the key to try and equalize the Turbo Diesel advantage. I just don't see guys reading/interpreting the rule book and maximizing the rules,that includes Robby.
@stevef, did you see this footage from last year?
110'ish MPH, I wouldn't want anyone to see that was only as fast as my 'racer' would go.

Suhaib Kiani

Well-Known Member
Well, the original question turned out to be a valid one I guess.... I dug up some figures for the cars:

Le Pug: Dakar 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR Tech Specs |
Output: 340 HP, 800nM (590 ft.lbs) @ 2100 rpm!,
Weight: 1280 kg (2014 spec from here)
Travel: 460mm (18 inches)

Das Mini:
MINI ALL4 Racing
Output: 320 HP, 800nM (590 ft.lbs) @ 2100 rpm!,
Weight: 1953 kg (empty!!??)
Travel: 250mm (10 inches)
Restrictor: 38 mm dia

Suhaib Kiani

Well-Known Member
The best Toyota by comparison runs the Lexus 1UR-GSE from "the RC-F .....and output is 471 hp (351 kW; 478 PS) and 54 kg·m (530 N·m; 391 lb·ft). You put a 37mm restrictor on that and I assume that the power output drops to around 350 bhp but I don't know how exactly the torque behaves.... I assume that the Hilux otherwise is pretty close to the Mini.