A Toyota subsidiary is preparing to enter a Toyota Land Cruiser for a very long off-road ride while emitting 60 percent less carbon dioxide than its regular diesel competitors. Toyota Auto Body Co. has enrolled a team into the 2014 Dakar Rally that will race a biodiesel-fueled Land Cruiser 200 with fuel made from used cooking oil.
The Toyota team will ride the off-road track that covers about 8,500 kilometers (about 5,280 miles) through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The Dakar Rally will start January 4 and runs almost two weeks. Jun Mitsuhashi is looking forward to showing off his home country of Japan in the race by driving the biodiesel Land Cruiser 200. "I want to compete on the world stage in a Japanese car and with Japanese technology," Mitsuhashi told The Japan Times at an event in the city of Toyota, Japan, announcing the team's entry into the race.
Another Toyota Motor Company-sponsored team is the 2014 Toyota Imperial SA Dakar Team from South Africa that will travel the route in two Toyota Hilux customized pickup trucks (called a "bakkie" in their home country). The bakkies are well prepared and battle-ready, Toyota says.
The 2014 Dakar Rally will showcase off-road racers traveling over rugged ground – rocky canyons, dusty valley and the Atacama Desert dunes. Drivers will kick of in Argentina, wend through Bolivia and finish in Chile. The first rally took place in 1978 and ran from Paris to Dakar, Senegal in western Africa. It's been held in South America since 2009 due to safety concerns.