Hybrid Technologies Come to Dakar Rally

ZF, the German manufacturer of automatic transmissions and related parts, has designed a cutting-edge hybrid driveline for an annual rally raid Dakar. ZF, in collaboration with MKR Technology, has integrated the new driveline into the Riwald Dakar team’s truck. This advanced technology was specifically designed for this racing competition.


The key element of this innovative solution is a pilot model of ZF’s E-axle drive, completely adjusted for efficient operation under severe conditions of the Dakar rally. The end product is named CeTrax Lite RS.

CeTrax Lite RS


This technology is supposed to back a diesel engine (with the torque capacity of 4600 Nm), while driving on heavy desert routes. By default, the output capacity of the e-motor is 80 kW (109 hp), but at the peak it rises to 150 kW (204 hp). It also ensures an extra 1,400 Nm of torque. The asynchronous e-motor is powered by a 400-volt battery and can operate with the maximum RPM rate up to 13,000. Engineers had to synchronize it with the RPM rate generated by the powerful diesel engine. The design of this innovative technology also includes the Ecomat 6HP transmission. This unit transfers power from the engine with impressive efficiency. Power from the engine and e-unit is transmitted to the ZF transfer case turning the Renault truck into an AWD off-roader. ZF officials assume that the Dakar Rally is an ideal place for putting the new hybrid driveline to practical testing under the most severe conditions.


Riwald Dakar Team is the only team participating in this year’s Dakar that counts on the new hybrid technology, and not without good reason. The first practical tests show that this vehicle with an experimental under-the-hood design can become a serious title contender. During test drives on European tracks, the team managed to give a worthy performance.


Moreover, the 400 V battery can be recharged quickly while driving so that it can have enough power to overcome any obstacle encountered on the route. The Dakar 2020 is in full swing and Riwald Dakar has already shown some decent results.



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