There’s only one reason why the Dakar Rally is not more popular. It’s an unforgiving place which is only made for really though folks who love driving and mechanics.

Showing off your racing skills, your ability to deal with emergency situations and your ability to complete complex mechanical operations under a scorching sun.

2013 Isuzu D-Max Dakar
2013 Isuzu D-Max Dakar

For next year’s event, Isuzu, a company we don’t often hear from these days, will be taking place with a specially prepared D-Max pickup.

The pickup shape is well appreciated at this event due to the ability it has of carrying extra equipment around and because of the way it doesn’t waste any of its space.

4×4 is a must in these conditions and the innate reliability factor of a strong chassis and motor can only help efforts.

No matter how capable the Isuzu D-Max may be as a regular commercial vehicle, it gets a lot of beefing up before sent off to the desert.

Its 3.0 liter turbodiesel engine pushes out 242 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque which is about the same as a luxury car these days but much more durable.

The engine is hooked to a Hollinger sequential 5 speed transmission through an Xtreme rally clutch. Before being relayed to the ground/sand the power is sent to 16 inch Trojan alloys with Toyo Open Country tires.

2013 Isuzu D-Max Dakar
2013 Isuzu D-Max Dakar

The ensemble can go up to 62 mph in just 7 seconds regardless of the surface travelling on and it can manage a top speed of 118 mph.

Conditions are not the best for straight line performance anyway and the 5.070 lbs weight isn’t exactly helpful either.