The initial design of the SandRacer was revealed by the new supercar manufacturer during the Abu Dhabi F1 GP in December 2015. Today, Zarooq Motors announces that after thorough testing and numerous mechanical and design improvements, the first batch of the luxury supercar car is ready for production. "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.
Zarooq Motors has an original perspective on supercars: "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.
The SandRacer 500 GT is the first production model of Zarooq Motors: a 2-seater, rear-wheel drive, mid-engine supercar with a body penned by a hypercar designer, featuring a luxury hand-stitched leather interior made by Mansory in Germany while the body is made in Belgium, using only carbon fibre.
"We have applied our design and craftsmanship know-how as well as luxury materials which we usually use on vehicles like Rolls-Royce or Lamborghini to give the SandRacer's interior and body a distinctively superior touch," says Christian Verstappen from Mansory Belgium.
The fittings are the ones of top range supercar: digital dashboard, climate control, CarPlay compatible infotainment, power windows, bespoke Mansory carbon fibre seats and steering wheel. The brutal performance (525hp, 660Nm from a tuned 6.2 litre V8 with only 1200 kg) is as potent on the asphalt as off-road with two suspension height settings (road and sand), a unique lightweight racing chassis with a built-in roll cage designed by Campos Racing Grand Prix engineers.
"Our added value in working with Zarooq Motors is that we combined what is usually impossible: the quality and performance of a racing car with the practicality and durability expected from a road-homologated supercar which can be used as a day-to-day vehicle," commented Philippe Gautheron, Campos' Chief Engineer.
The architecture of the car (space frame racing chassis) has been improved and tested (through a series of virtual crash testing and through significant testing on circuits and Off-Road by professional drivers). The drivetrain is now a longitudinal racing-grade 5-speed sequential gearbox from Weddle industries, to withstand the most demanding conditions. The maximum suspension travel has been extended to 45cm thanks to Dakar-grade Intrax dampers.
"The technical choices we have made were driven by our objectives of providing superior performance on circuits, roads or any terrain,"summarized Laffite.
The company has set up capabilities to maintain the vehicles both in the GCC and Europe while Zarooq Motors manufacturing facilities are spread between Monaco and the UAE. "We want to be close to our roots in the desert but also close to our customers and our strategic partners in Europe, that is why we are spreading our capabilities over two geographies," explains Al Qadi.
Zarooq Motors has also spent the last 18 months fine-tuning every detail of the body of the SandRacer 500 GT to make it look even more aggressive, with a refined front and distinctive rear diffusers and striking exhausts (one can easily remove the diffusers if you go for heavy off-road by the way). Compared to the specifications initially announced, everything has been upgraded and improved from performance to engine, to style and equipment. "We listened to our clients who definitely wanted something more powerful, lighter, with an even more radical design and with a luxury interior," said Iannis Mardell, one of the founders.
Sales of the first limited-edition series of 35 supercars have started aimed at an exclusive clientele with a price tag starting at $450.000 in the UAE.
"The first clients, both in the GCC and Europe, are mostly VIPs and car collectors, that's why we also offer bespoke options and concierge services," said Laetitia Laffite, in charge of exclusive partnerships.
The first Models which have already been ordered will be delivered by Q4 this year.