The year is 2020, and EVs are all the rage. But in a dusty corner of the world, fossil fuels still rule. That dusty corner is Saudi Arabia, but when we talk about fossil fuels we’re not referring to the country’s rich oil reserves, for as of 2020 the largest country in the Middle East has become the new home of the Dakar Rally – the world’s most extreme rally raid and one of the only motorsports that the electric influx has yet to reach.
While electric rally cars do exist – the Extreme E made its global debut at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard in 2019 year – the ranges just can’t rival the 400-odd-litres of fuel that allow Dakar cars to travel up to 1,000 kilometres a day. And so for two weeks each year, motorsport fans indulge in guilt-free, petrol-fuelled rally action.
Thousands of cars have contested the Dakar over its forty-year history, so we thought it would be good to narrow down that long list of incredible machines to just five vehicles, one for each decade.