Are we looking at the ultimate dune buggy?
Zarooq Motors, a UAE-based manufacturer, has today unveiled its first model – the SandRacer 500GT – two years after presenting the car in concept form at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. "We are very excited to see our supercar perform on roads as on sand, following our initial vision", said Bruno Laffite, one of Zarooq Motors' founders. What began as a high-performance dune buggy has developed into something that's just at home on the road and track as it is on the sand.
Designed by Anthony Jannarelly, the same man who crafted the Lykan Hypersport and the Fenyr Supersport, the SandRacer 500GT is a two-seater, mid-engined machine with a carbon-fiber body and 6.2-liter V8 that sends 518 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a five-speed sequential gearbox. Weighing in at just 1,200 kg, the SandRacer offers brutal performance, especially in the desert (as the name suggests) with two suspension height settings (road and sand) that expands travel to 45 cm courtesy of Dakar-grade Intrax dampers, a lightweight racing chassis, built-in roll cage, meaty tires and racing harnesses.
It also offers plenty of refinement with a hand-stitched leather interior by Mansory, an LCD screen, sound system, and air-conditioning. Having spent the past 18 months fine tuning the car, the SandRacer 500 GT looks more aggressive with distinctive rear diffusers and a more radical design, there's more power than initially intended, and the interior offers more luxury. "All supercars look fantastic, feature luxurious racing-inspired interiors and are exclusive high performance machines, but their common denominator is that they are suited to racetracks and certainly not designed for speed bumps.
Zarooq Motors makes supercars that are unique since you can take them on a week-end track day or for a luxurious commute in the city but also on any off-road terrain, even the toughest dunes of the Arabian Desert where they were born" says Mohammed Al Qadi, Zarooq Motors' executive. Sales have already begun, with a 35-unit limited-edition run priced at $450,000 a pop in the UAE. Deliveries will start later this year.