Dacia aims for Dakar success in 2025

The Renault-owned car brand has also brought on board a team of drivers that includes nine-time World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb

The Dacia Sandrider, aiming for success at the Dakar Rally in 2025

Dacia is hoping to reap success next year at the grueling Dakar rally, across some of the world’s most demanding and harshest terrains. On the back of a newly designed race car, the Sandrider, the Renault-owned affordable brand is hoping to reap some recognition from Dakar success for its reputation for robustness and reliability.

It has also brought on board a team of drivers that includes nine-time World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb. He will be joined by five-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and Cristina Gutierrez, who took victory in the Challenger class on Dakar 2024, becoming only the second woman in history to achieve a class win on the event.

The car is based on the brand’s Manifesto SUV concept car, and will be built by experienced British outfit Prodrive, with support from the sporting arm of the Renault Group. It is powered by a three-litre V6 twin-turbo engine taken from Nissan, where it’s used in a road-going application in the Nissan Z sportscar, and using sustainable Aramco synthetic fuel.

It will undergo extensive testing following an initial shakedown in England this April. It will make its competition debut on October’s Rallye du Maroc, the final round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, where all three crews will be present.


The Dacia Sandriders team will then embark on its assault on the Dakar next year, as well competing in a full 2025 W2RC campaign. Dacia has committed to a two-year world championship program, running the Sandrider until at least the 2027 edition of the Dakar.

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Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times