Behold The Russian-Made Racing Truck Built for the 1,000-Mile Dakar Rally - Maxim

Behold The Russian-Made Racing Truck Built for the 1,000-Mile Dakar Rally

The 980 HP Kamaz Master is ready to destroy the desert.
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Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Following a runner-up finish in the 2016 Dakar Rally Raid, the Russian Kamaz truck team has built the menacing black Kamaz Master, an entirely new machine meant to win next year's 1,000-mile desert rally.

The Master is a 980-horsepower, 12.5-liter diesel, four-wheel drive monster that competes in a category of vehicle that must carry its own spare parts. Regular Kamaz trucks, like the 2016-winning MAN truck, are a cabover design, putting the front seat ahead of the front wheels.

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

By installing the kind of cab more familiar from trucks on American highways, that puts a long hood out ahead of the passenger cabin, Kamaz aims for the Master to improve on the old truck's balance, especially when landing jumps.

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

The 2017 Dakar Rally will run January 2-14, starting in Asuncion, Paraguay and finishing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The historic Paris-Dakar Rally ran from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal across the North African desert, but continuing political instability has pushed the race to South America.

"Now a new era of race trucks begins," noted Vladimir Chagin, head of the Kamaz Master team. "Conventional [non-cabover] trucks show a range of benefits, and this season they have to carry out a very important task – to test the truck for the maximum, in order to prepare for the main sports event – the next Dakar."

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

The team is testing the new truck in domestic races in the Russian Championship to identify problems and prepare for Dakar. As a test program, the black color seemed appropriate, Chagin, explained. For the 2017 Dakar, the Master may well wear the company's traditional white-and-blue livery colors. But for now the black looks toally badass, don't you agree?

Photo: Kamaz

Photo: Kamaz

Photo: Kamaz

Photo: Kamaz

Photo: Kamaz

Photo: Kamaz