This 1,100-HP Off-Road Semi Truck Is Perfect for Minor Errands

It even self-greases its most crucial parts to avoid breakdowns on your way to the post office.

off road semi truck dakar
Alex Miedema via YouTube

There's something to be said for using the right tool for the job, but that can be a moving target when the job is the multi-day, multi-class Dakar Rally. Building a vehicle to stand up to the conditions of the race is a challenge, but it's familiar ground for the Netherlands-based Dakar Speed racing team. The squad recently took a decidedly industrial approach to its latest racing rig, the DKR3, which looks like part box truck and part semi-truck on major steroids.

The DKR3 truly is a hodgepodge from a global parts bin. The four-wheeled giant is built on a chassis from Big Shock Racing in the Czech Republic and uses a cab from an American International truck—basically the same kind you see rolling down the U.S. interstates. The engine is a 13.0-liter diesel sourced from Scania and is paired with an Allison automatic transmission built in Indianapolis, Indiana. That massive block is said to produce more than 1,100 horsepower on the test bench and propel the big beast with ease, considering weight balance and reduction were also a major focus of the build.

The team says it won’t know for sure if the truck can actually handle the Dakar Rally until it's able to get into a few test races, however. In preparation for the grueling race that travels through desert dunes and all other kinds of extreme terrain, the truck has been equipped with an automatic greasing system to keep everything moving smoothly in the harsh condition—as well as fitted with a special hydraulics system to allow for rapid tire changes.

Assuming everything goes according to schedule, the DKR3 will make its racing debut at the Morocco Desert Challenge, which is set to take place in September of this year. A solid performance there would qualify the team for the 2021 Dakar Rally. The event is currently scheduled for January, but a solid plan has not yet been introduced due to the ongoing global pandemic.

A sprawling photo gallery posted to rallytrucks.nl is definitely worth checking out.

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