This automobile was designed to be the perfect dune-runner racecar.
It may look like a modern Dakar-inspired prototype, but Zarooq Motors – a brand-new, UAE-based car company – says it’s a versatile, road-legal production car, “capable of eating dunes”, specifically designed for the UAE desert.
Named after the fastest and most agile snake in the desert, the Sand Racer was created to satisfy the need of potent 4×4 machines and to be the perfect embodiment of fast, nimble off-roading, as Zarooq Director, Mohammed Al Qadi, said:
“The UAE are famous for amazing deserts, extreme safari motorsport and dune racing, but the performance of US and Japanese cars just wasn’t good enough. So we decided to assemble a team to design and build the car we have all dreamed about, specifically made to race in the desert”
Mind you, judging by the Sand Racer’s specs, it seems fairly capable of challenging anyone, everywhere, as it weighs only 950 kg (2094 lbs), while the 3.5-litre V6 under its hood can be commissioned to develop anywhere between 300 and 500 hp. That adds up to a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio, similar to that of a McLaren P1 – if we’re talking about the 500 hp variant. To top it off, it also has a 350 – 450mm suspension travel, lots of carbon fiber, and it was designed by Anthony Jannarelly – the man responsible for the Lykan Hypersport. By comparison, a 2010 Ford F150 Raptor only has up to 307mm of suspension travel (in the rear).
Even though it’s advertised as a handmade, racing-machine tailored for extreme off-roading – with a performance-oriented interior – the car comes bearing some creature comforts, such as air conditioning.
Zarooq Motors also plans on launching a dedicated single-make championship in the UAE, with dedicated racing chassis preparation for the Sand Racer. Pricing on road-legal, production units is $80,000 – $160,000 – depending on model, edition and options – and the first deliveries will be made in early 2016.