Sébastien Loeb, the big novelty

Sébastien Loeb, the big novelty

The car manufacturer Dacia unveiled its prototype this Tuesday for the next rally-raid season, and in particular the Dakar. Sébastien Loeb and Nasser Al-Attiyah will be the main drivers.

This Tuesday was a big day for Dacia and for Sébastien Loeb. The Romanian car manufacturer, a subsidiary of Renault, unveiled in Paris the prototype which will take part in the next rally-raid season, and in particular on the Dakar. The nine-time world rally champion (who will celebrate his 50th birthday next month) will be one of the main drivers, just like Nasser Al-Attiyah (53), absent from the presentation because he is competing in the Qatar Rally. The 32-year-old Spanish driver Cristina Gutierrez Herrero will complete this impressive roster. The prototype presented this Tuesday is called “Sandrider”, a contraction of the words “Sandero”, one of Dacia’s current models, “rider”, which means “pilot”, and “sand” which means “sand”.

“Dacia and the Dakar form a perfect association: a real laboratory to prove the robustness of Dacia and a strong commitment to low-carbon mobility. We are very excited to participate in the Dakar using synthetic fuel technology. Dacia, with a team and drivers at the highest level, is a serious competitor for the rally,” rejoiced the manufacturer, who announced that it wanted to take part in the Dakar at least until the 2027 edition. will take place from June in Morocco, where Dacia will take part in its first rally-raid in October, as preparation for the Dakar.

Better visibility and synthetic fuel

According to Dacia, the Sandrider will be lighter than its competitors with “increased forward weight distribution to improve traction”. As for assembly, it will be carried out by Prodrive, whose colors Sébastien Loeb has worn during several Dakar rallies. The Alsatian was therefore able to provide his feedback and asked for better visibility. Dacia has therefore planned for “optimized visibility thanks to the design of a short, sloping hood and the use of anti-reflective paint on the upper part of the dashboard. »

The manufacturer is also trying to limit its carbon footprint and promises “optimized aerodynamics, weight reduction, heat management and a low-carbon synthetic fuel produced by Aramco. » It now remains to be seen whether this Sandrider will allow Sébastien Loeb to win his first Dakar, he who did not manage to do so with Peugeot or Prodrive, or a sixth with Nasser Al-Attiyah. Answer in a little less than a year…

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