Laffite resurrects the Zarooq Sand Racer, a 720-horsepower dune weapon
Way back in 2015 when the world still made some kind of sense, an outfit from the UAE called Zarooq Motors proposed a wacky kind of off-road Sand Racer supercar perfectly suited to high-octane sand dune shenanigans. A powerful, street-legal Dakar racer with cup holders, leather seats and rear-wheel drive only, so you could get out in the desert and cut sick swinging your backside around.
Zarooq poked its head up again in 2017, with the news that it was heading to production, ditching the 300-horse V6 that was originally going to power the Sand Racer and heading straight for a 525-hp, 6.2-liter GM LT1 V8. Only 35 were to be built, and some had already been sold, so it looked like it was on like Donkey Kong.
Looks can be deceiving, however. Zarooq vanished off the face of the Earth sometime in 2018, and the handsome Sand Racer looked to be shelved. But it seems Zarooq's Operations Manager Bruno Laffite has started his own company to resurrect the project under a new name: the Lafitte G-Tec X-Road. It looks identical to the Sand Racer, right down to that weird shut line at the back of the doors that makes it look like the back's going to fall off.
Naturally, the motor has changed again. It's now an LT3, making 470 horses in its lowest spec configuration but offering up to 720 hp if you choose to order it supercharged. Otherwise, the X-Road looks very much like the Sand Racer; the bodywork is identical, it's still a rear-wheel drive and designed for off-road slidey slidey shenanigans with a road legal twist. If the idea of burning gasoline for such endeavors rubs you the wrong way, fear not! Lafitte will happily gut this thing and fit an electric powertrain if that's more your bag.
The interior is referred to as "custom" and "luxury," but it's a pretty bare and brutal take on luxury. The materials – carbon, leather, chromed metal – look terrific, but everything looks pretty harsh and firm. For a car that's sold as a sand dune jumper set up for serious off-road thrashing at high speed, you might expect the seats to look a bit sportier and shaped to hold you in place. Still, the suspension seems up to the job, with a ludicrous 17 inches (43 cm) of travel at both ends, so we'll look forward to seeing this thing in flight once customer cars start rolling out and YouTubers start launching them off ramps.
Only 30 are slated for production, with deliveries to start at the end of this year if everything goes according to plan this time. Pricing will start at US$465,000 on gas, $545,000 for electric, and Laffite says it's got another supercar project up its sleeve that we'll see within a month or two.
Check out the Lafitte G-Tec X-Road throwing up some dirt in the video below.