"There will be five stages in Argentina, five in Chile and then four to finish in Peru, making for 14 days of racing as opposed to 12 last year," race director Etienne Lavigne announced.
The competitors will cover approximately 8,400km during the race - of which 4,200 will be special stages.
With the race heading to Peru for the first time, it means that the Dakar Rally will now have been contested in 27 countries over the course of its 33-year history.
Previous editions of the race in South America have seen the course follow a loop, with the race beginning and ending in Buenos Aires.
"The last time the course went in a line was in 2007 between Lisbon and Dakar," Lavigne added.
"With Peru and its dunes which are added to the programme, it's a more difficult test than ever awaiting the drivers.
"There will be great variety in the challenges."
A total of 465 vehicles are expected to compete in this year's event - an increase of around 15 per cent from the 2011 edition.
The 2012 competition begins on New Year's day in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and concludes on January 15 in Lima, Peru.
Stage by stage
Stage 1 (January 1):
Mar Del Plata - Santa Rosa de la Pampa (796km link, 60km of special)
Stage 2 (January 2):
Santa Rosa de la Pampa - San Rafael (486km link, 295km of special bikes, quads and trucks, 290km of special cars)
Stage 3 (January 3):
San Rafael - San Juan (293km link, 270km of special bikes and quads, 208km of special cars and trucks)
Stage 4 (January 4):
San Juan - Chilecito (388km link, 326km of special)
Stage 5 (5 January):
Chilecito - Fiambala (link 151km, 265km of special bikes and quads; link 246km, 17 km of special cars and trucks)
Stage 6 (January 6):
Fiambala - Copiapo / CHI (394km link, 247km of special)
Stage 7 (January 7):
Copiapo - Copiapo (154km link, 444km of special)
January 8 (Rest day)
Stage 8 (January 9):
Copiapo - Antofagasta (209km link, 477km of special)
Stage 9 (January 10):
Antofagasta - Iquique (9km link, 557km of special)
Stage 10 (January 11):
Iquique - Arica (317km link, 377km of special)
Stage 11 (January 12):
Ariqua - Arequipa (171km link, 538km of special bikes and quads; 120km link, 478 km of special cars, connecting 120km, 432km of special trucks)
Stage 12 (January 13):
Arequipa - Nasca (259km link, 246km of special bikes and quads; 440km link, 246 km of special cars and trucks)
Stage 13 (January 14)
Nasca - Pisco (76km link, 276km of special)
Stage 14 (January 15, podiums in Lima)
Pisco - Lima (254km link, 29km of special)
8,363km with 4,406km of special in bikes and quads categories
8373km including 4191km of special in car category
8333km including 4151km of special in truck category
Cars (171 in total): 301. Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz (RSA/GER /Toyota), 302. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA/Mini), 303. Robby Gordon/Kellon Walch (USA/Hummer), 304. Krzysztof Holowczyc/Jean-Marc Fortin (POL/BEL/Mini), 305. Nani Roma/Michel Périn (SPN/FRA/Mini), 306. Christian Lavieille/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA/Proto Dessoude), 307. Carlos Sousa/Jean-Pierre Garcin (POR/FRA/Great Wall), 308. Orlando Terranova/Lucas Cruz (ARG/Toyota), 309. Ricardo Leal Dos Santos/Paulo Fiuza (POR/Mini), 310. Guilherme Spinelli/Youssef Haddad (BRZ/Mitsubishi)
Moto (185): 1. Marc Coma (SPN/KTM), 2. Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM), 3. Helder Rodrigues (POR/Yamaha), 4. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI/Aprilia), 5. Juan Garcia Pedrero (SPN/KTM), 6. Pal Anders Ullevalseter (NOR/KTM), 7. Paulo Gonçalves (POR/Huqsvarna), 8. Ruben Faria (POR/KTM), 9. Alexis Cody Quinn (USA/Honda), 10. Jordi Viladoms (SPN/KTM)
Quads (33): 250. Alejandro Patronelli (ARG/Yamaha), 251. Josef Machacek (CZE/Yamaha), 252. Marcos Patronelli (ARG/Yamaha), 253. Lukasz Laskawiec (POL/Yamaha), 254. Chrisophe Declerck (FRA/Polaris)
Trucks (76): 500. Eduard Nikolaev/Sergei Savostin/Vladimir Rybakov (RUS/Kamaz), 501. Ales Loprais/Petr AlmaSi/Michal Ernst (CZE/Tatra), 502. Gerard De Rooy/Tom Colsoul/Darek Rodewald (NED/BEL/NED/Iveco), 503. Franz Echter/Detlef Ruf/Artur Klein (GER/Man), 504. Ayrat Mardeev/Aydar Belyaev/Anton Shibalov (RUS/Kamaz)