Those of you who flit between Los Angeles, New York, London, and Dubai like it’s just another Wednesday undoubtedly have a Range Rover, Land Cruiser, or Nissan Patrol stashed in the Emirates for going when the going gets sandy. Which is all well and good, but for those whose off-highway tastes range a little more toward SCORE’s Class 6 trucks, Emirati concer n Zarooq has just unveiled the SandRacer.
This ground, of course, has been covered before, most notably by Local Motors and its Rally Fighter and most recently by Ariel with its Nomad, but Z arooq has big plans for its road-legal buggy-thingy, having announced a new sand-racing course in Dubai, as well as a SandRacer spec series to go along with it.
At 82 inches wide, the rear-drive SandRacer easily slips into Class 6’s 84-inch minimum width, while its overall length of 165 inches makes it a foot shorter than a C7 Stingray, although the SandRacer features a 5.3-inch-longer wheelbase. The machine’s tube chassis is fabricated from S355 high-strength steel, while the bulkheads are crafted from aluminum. Paired with a non-structural fiberglass body, Farooq claims the SandRacer will weigh in somewhere between 2205 and 2315 pounds. Given that the mid-mounted 3.5-liter V-6 (of unspecified origin) is slated to kick out between 304 and 500 horsepower, depending on specification, the SandRacer likely will move out with a measure of rooster-tail-spewing authority.
Zarooq claims it wants the SandRacer to be “affordable and easy to maintain,” which suggests that the V-6 is of mass-market origin, rather than some exotic powerplant. Given that Nissan makes a six that matches the quoted 3498-cc displacement, we’re going to go ahead and assume that the powertrain is Japanese. Although Mercedes’ naturally aspirated V-6 matches its displacement, the Nissan engine seems more in line with the SandRacer’s stated mission .
Keeping the SandRacer suspended 12.4 inches above shifting surfaces are a set of presumably lengthy coil springs with their motion mitigated by Fox shocks. Inside, air conditioning keeps the occupants cool, a “racing suede”–wrapped wheel serves to steer the beas t, while paddles control the six-speed automatic transmission.
The initial prototype is nearly finished, according to Zarooq, and will be shown to the public next month, claiming that journalists and buyers should be able to test the machine in early 2016. Hmm. It’s been a year since we last were in the United Arab Emirates. Perhaps it’s time for another trip?