The 2009 Dakar Rally was won by a pair of diesel-powered Touareg TDIs. The oil-burners will face a new type of competition in the 2010 Dakar race thanks to a new ethanol-powered vehicle category. For the first time in the rally's 31-year history, a flex-fuel vehicle – a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – will compete. Why is the change happening this year (the second that the race will be held in South America)? Because Brazilian rally veteran and former Paris-Dakar winner Klever Kolberg asked that the category be added – and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) said it would give its full support. The Pajero Sport that Kooberg will drive was made in Brazil, too. Kolberg said that there is a lot of agreement among the race teams that an ethanol category was overdue.
Last year, Mitsubishi was pushing its clean diesel technology in Dakar, but some say that the race can't be considered environmentally friendly no matter what fuel is used.