Automotive

Zarooq off-road supercar sandstorms its way toward production

Zarooq off-road supercar sands...
525 horses stampeding across the sand
525 horses stampeding across the sand
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Zarooq says it is ready to start production on its SandRacer 500 GT
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Zarooq says it is ready to start production on its SandRacer 500 GT
Since it first announced the SandRacer, Zarooq has been busy improving and refining it
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Since it first announced the SandRacer, Zarooq has been busy improving and refining it
525 horses stampeding across the sand
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525 horses stampeding across the sand
We're not sure the SandRacer will be a worthy on-road "supercar," but it should definitely be fun in sand and dirt
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We're not sure the SandRacer will be a worthy on-road "supercar," but it should definitely be fun in sand and dirt
If you want to get noticed in the city, the SandRacer is a good way to do it
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If you want to get noticed in the city, the SandRacer is a good way to do it
A few for your buddies?
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A few for your buddies?
Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
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Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
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Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
The SandRacer 500 GT has a tubular space frame racing chassis below that beefy bodywork
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The SandRacer 500 GT has a tubular space frame racing chassis below that beefy bodywork
The 35-model 500 GT series costs $450,000, but last we heard the standard models should cost a fraction of that
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The 35-model 500 GT series costs $450,000, but last we heard the standard models should cost a fraction of that
Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
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Zarooq SandRacer 500 GT
Mansory does work on the exterior and interior 
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Mansory does work on the exterior and interior 
Suspension set up high for clearing off-road obstacles
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Suspension set up high for clearing off-road obstacles
Zarooq Motors SandRacer 500 GT top speed: 137 mph (220 km/h). 
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Zarooq Motors SandRacer 500 GT top speed: 137 mph (220 km/h). 
Zarooq has revised the front-end since we last looked in on the SandRacer
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Zarooq has revised the front-end since we last looked in on the SandRacer
Suspension lowered down to road setting
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Suspension lowered down to road setting
Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016
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Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016
This car is clearly a work in progress, not the production-ready 500 GT
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This car is clearly a work in progress, not the production-ready 500 GT
Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016
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Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016
View gallery - 19 images

Emirati-Monégasque newcomer Zarooq Motors previewed its SandRacer off-road supercar back in late 2015. It was awesome. Or it seemed like it could be awesome ... assuming it ever showed up again. Well, here it is not two years later, and we're seeing it again. In fact, Zarooq says that it's ready for production and will launch with a special edition 500 GT model. The rally-style supercar has an off-road racing chassis, carbon fiber body, mid-mounted V8 engine and Mansory interior. Deserts of the world are about to get a little less peaceful.

That beast you see snarling, spitting and kicking above isn't built to battle it out in the Silk Way Rally ahead of a big Dakar 2017 attempt. Zarooq actually fancies it docile enough to take out for dinner and drinks.

The company recognizes that there are a lot of great supercars fine-tuned to excite and impress on pavement, but it feels the market lacking in performance cars that are equally comfortable careening up and down sand dunes and tearing across desert floor.

"Zarooq Motors makessupercars that are unique since you can take themon a weekend track day or for a luxurious commutein the city but also on any off-road terrain, even thetoughest dunes of the Arabian Desert, where theywere born," says Zarooq co-founder Mohammed Al Qadi.

The SandRacer 500 GT has a tubular space frame racing chassis below that beefy bodywork
The SandRacer 500 GT has a tubular space frame racing chassis below that beefy bodywork

Of course, from its oversized off-road tires, through its Campos Racing-designed tubular space frame chassis with roll cage, and out to its beefy, flared bodywork, this car just pleads to be taken off road. And we're guessing anyone who puts down half a million dollars on the launch edition already has a garage full of supercars with better road and track manners. This one will be getting dirty.

Zarooq hasn't spent the entirety of the past year and a half designing fancy computer renderings to show in place of real photos, although it's clearly been doing plenty of that. It promises that it's been reworking, refining and testing the SandRacer toward optimizing power, weight and performance. That work includes calling in a 525-hp 6.2-liter GM LT1 V8 engine to take over for the 300-hp V6 it was talking about last time around.

The V8 is mounted toward the middle of the racing chassis and works with a racing-grade Weddle five-speed sequential gearbox to drive the rear wheels and push the 2,645-lb (1,200-kg) car forward. A revised suspension with Dakar-grade Intrax dampers and 17.7 in (45 cm) of travel cushions those big-tired wheels. Road and sand settings adjust the ride height for what's ahead.

Mansory does work on the exterior and interior 
Mansory does work on the exterior and interior 

"We listened to our clients,who definitely wanted something more powerful,lighter, with an even more radical design, and with aluxury interior," explains Iannis Mardell, another company co-founder.

The design was already pretty radical and aggressive back in 2015, but it has indeed gotten bolder. The big additions are the rear diffuser and centralized rectangular exhaust tips. Zarooq assures the diffuser is easy to take off for off-road adventures on which it might prove a detriment. The new SandRacer design also includes a few more curves and a revised front-end geometry.

Mansory, famous for over-the-top tunes like this one, will assemble the carbon fiber body and dress the interior in carbon fiber and leather. The cabin will include a digital dashboard, infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, climate control and power windows.

Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016
Zarooq shows the SandRacer back in April 2016

Zarooq says it's already recorded its first sales and will offer each of the 35 SandRacer 500 GT models for a price of US$450,000. It is offering the cars in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European countries, and deliveries will begin in the 4th quarter – maybe some satisfied new owners will post some actual photos of the production-spec model then. In the meantime, we tracked down a few real photos of an earlier development car.

Source: Zarooq Motors

View gallery - 19 images
2 comments
Imran Sheikh
Heavy Duty Beauty.. Good design and good aerodynamic..
artwisc
It looks like it has already been involved in an accident!