360 Horsepower from 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Engine in the Dacia Sandrider
In a bid to revamp its brand and venture into the realm of motorsports, Dacia, renowned for producing budget-friendly cars for the general public, has revealed plans to compete in both the Dakar Rally and the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) from 2025. The company’s goal is to conquer some of the most demanding landscapes by showcasing their latest creation, the Sandrider.
Drawing inspiration from the innovative 2022 Manifesto concept car, Romanian brand Dacia teamed up with Renault Group and UK-based Prodrive to create a high-performance racing vehicle specifically for rally-raids. This prototype, crafted with a strong emphasis on agility and weight in the elite Ultimate T1+ category, also stands as Dacia’s most powerful machine to date.
The source of energy in this vehicle is derived from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine, equipped with direct fuel injection and capable of producing 360 horsepower at 5,000 revolutions per minute. This powerful powertrain utilizes synthetic fuel, consisting of renewable hydrogen and sequestered carbon dioxide. The force is efficiently distributed to all four wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission. Each corner is adorned with a durable 17-inch aluminum wheel, paired with a robust BF Goodrich 37-inch tire.
The development of the Sandrider was greatly influenced by aerodynamics, as engineers were able to achieve a significant reduction of 10 percent in drag and 40 percent in lift compared to other prototypes. Additionally, the focus on effectively managing heat in extreme conditions led to the successful incorporation of anti-infrared pigments into the carbon body panels, which has now been patented as a unique process.
The Sandrider vehicle is scheduled to undergo significant trials and advancements in multiple countries before its highly anticipated motorsport debut at the Rallye du Maroc 2024, which is a key event in the esteemed World Rally-Raid Championship. The renowned Dacia W2RC team, known as the Dacia Sandriders, will proudly compete in the challenging Dakar Rally and various legs of the prestigious World Rally-Raid Championship in 2025.
The team boasts an impressive crew of skilled and seasoned racers. Sébastien Loeb, a renowned victor of the World Rally Championship nine times over, will be accompanied by his trusty co-driver Fabian Lurquin. Also gracing the team are Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, a well-accomplished driver in cross-country rallies, and her partner Pablo Moreno Huete, both of whom bring their valuable expertise to the table. Joining this already formidable lineup is Nasser Al-Attiyah, a legendary Dakar winner with five World Cup titles for Cross-Country Rallies and two World Rally-Raid Championships under his belt.