Russian truck builder Kamaz came second in this year’s Dakar. Plans are far advanced to prevent a repeat.
COMING off a loss to Iveco in its 2016 campaign, Russian Dakar staple Kamaz has designed an all-new truck pointed directly at the 2017 Dakar event.
The big, bad, blacked-out Master “Kapotnik” features a new layout and a 980-hp powertrain. Kamaz believes it will be the truck to bring back its 14th Dakar victory.
The all-new Kamaz Master leaves the tradition of forward control cabs in the past, and looks all the more rugged and powerful because of it. “The first thing you notice about the new truck is that the ride is smoother for the people in the cab, for the crew,” Kamaz-master team leader Vladimir Chagin said.
“Because whenever we hit a bump or something the shock doesn’t go straight up into the spine as in the cab-over configuration where you’re sitting on top of the axle. Here the shock goes into the engine so the impression you get from this vehicle is that you’re driving in a big SUV, only larger.”
Kamaz also believes the new cab configuration, which shifts weight off the front axle and toward the centre, will improve manoeuvrability, provide better movement over sand and offer better jump landings.
“We’re now at the dawn of a new era of race trucks: cab trucks demonstrate a number of technical benefits, and an important goal for us this season is to innovate as much as possible.”
Kamaz says the new Master will reach speeds close to 160 km/h “on more or less any surface”.
Those speeds come courtesy of the big, bulging 731-kW 12,5-litre diesel engine and 16speed ZF transmission powering all four wheels. A 1 000-litre fuel tank allows the truck to drive all day and into the night.
The new Kamaz Master has now proven in Russia’s Rally Raid Gold Cup of Kagan in late April. Its next race is the Silky Way Rally in July.
Kamaz has designed an all-new truck to win the next Dakar.