Extreme driving conditions and the heat of competition demonstrate the wide-ranging advantages of fully automatic transmissions
SLEIDRECHT, Netherlands, January 31, 2022 – Allison Transmission, a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional and electrified vehicle propulsion solutions, equipped the top 10 and an additional seven of the top 20 finishers
in the truck division of the Dakar 2022 rally raid, the latest running of the world’s toughest annual motorsport competition. The event’s extreme driving conditions once again affirmed the superiority of Allison fully automatic transmissions
over semi-automatic and automated manual transmissions.
This year’s Dakar subjected competitors to a grueling 5,220-mile (8,400-kilometer) route through the deserts of Saudi Arabia. The event started in the port city of Jeddah on New Year’s Day and finished in the same location 14 days later after
heading north-east and then south to the Arabian Peninsula’s legendary Empty Quarter. Vehicles and crews were pushed to their limits as they powered along rocky trails, across vast expanses of sand, and up and down towering dunes.
The majority of the top 20 finishers from 60 starters in Dakar 2022’s truck division used Allison’s 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmission. This transmission is suitable for all medium- and heavy-duty commercial engines, and widely
used around the world by heavy duty construction vehicles, refuse trucks, fire and rescue trucks and defense vehicles.
Four finishing positions in the top 10 were taken by Allison-equipped Team de Rooy, the multiple time Dakar-winning team, which recently entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Allison to develop electrically-powered trucks for competition.
The team’s new electrified rally truck, employing an Allison 4000 Series™ with retarder, is scheduled to compete in next year’s Dakar.
In this year’s event, Team de Rooy’s diesel-powered Iveco Powerstars claimed fifth place (crewed by Janus van Kasteren/Marcel Snijders/Darek Rodewald), sixth place (Martin van den Brink/Peter Willemsen/Bernard Der Kinderen), and 8th place
(Vic Versteijnen/Teun van Dal/Randy Smits). Another of the team’s Allison-equipped entries, an Iveco Trakker (Mitchel van den Brink/Rijk Mouw/Bert Donkelaar) finished 10th.
“Dakar and other rally raids are really tough on mechanical components, especially the suspension, axles and transmission. On hard surfaces, severe vibrations go through the whole driveline and the entire truck for hour after hour, causing damage.
And on loose sand, traditional clutch-operated transmissions limit traction at low speeds. That’s why in 2018 our team switched to Allison’s fully automatic transmission for better performance and durability,” said Gerard de Rooy,
owner of Team de Rooy and two-time winner of the Dakar Rally, as both owner and driver.
Hino Team Sugawara, led by Teruhito Sugawara, also used Allison fully automatic transmissions in their trucks at this year’s Dakar rally. In 2007, Sugawara became the first to win Dakar in the under 10-liter class truck category, and then proceeded
to win that category 12 consecutive times between 2010and 2021. This year – in a reminder that Allison technologies are equally suitable for diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles – the team competed for the first time with a hybrid vehicle.
Sugawara’s Allison 3000 Series™-equipped Hino 600 Series-Hybrid truck crewed by Teruhito Sugawara/Hirokazu Somemiya/Yuji Mochizuki finished in 22nd place.
“Motorsport is a great laboratory for testing and developing technologies by pushing them to their limits and beyond, and there’s no motorsport rally more demanding than Dakar,” said Sjoerd Vos, Allison Transmission’s Director
of Marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The fact that almost all of the top 20 trucks in this year’s Dakar used Allison fully automatic transmissions speaks volumes about their efficient performance and robust dependability.”
The technical features which make Allison’s fully automatic transmissions so effective in the heat of competition also provide great real-world advantages in a wide range of vocational applications including wheeled defense vehicles which may also
operate in rough terrains. Dakar 2022 affirmed not only Allison transmissions’ unrivalled reliability and durability, but also the superior responsiveness and drivability of fully automatic transmissions. These strengths are made possible by
Allison’s torque converter, Continuous Power Technology™, DynActive™ Shifting and integral retarder.
Allison’s torque converter smoothly multiplies engine torque, delivering more power to the wheels for faster acceleration and greater maneuverability. This is a hydrodynamic system with a fully liquid planetary gear set, which eliminates the need
for a dry clutch and reduces wear and tear on all parts of the drivetrain.
Allison’s Continuous Power Technology™ eliminates the interruptions to power delivery which occur when gear-shifts are made by manual or automated manual transmissions (AMTs). This ensures the transmission makes shifts at exactly the right
time, taking into account payload, surface grip, and grade allowing smooth shifts and protecting the driveshaft, differential, axles and wheels. Allison’s transmissions provide superior maneuverability, acceleration, grade-ability and start-ability
on steep hills, sand dunes and soft ground, convincingly demonstrated during Dakar 2022.
Allison’s DynActive™ Shifting also enhances drivability and responsiveness. Unlike older shifting technologies, which rely on pre-programmed shift schedules with fixed shift points, DynActive™ Shifting’s intelligent algorithm chooses
the most efficient shift point according to the user’s specifications and vehicle and environmental parameters.
Having an integral retarder also sets Allison’s fully automatic transmissions apart from manual or AMTs. In addition to providing reassuringly powerful braking power, this takes away load from the service brakes to reduce brake wear. During Dakar,
the integral retarder also helped with heat management of the wheel rims and tires, a critical issue when vehicles are being driven hard on deep sand and in high temperatures.