This is the Zarooq Sand Racer, a new off-road vehicle from the United Arab Emirates. It has been designed for long rally ‘raid’ events, such the famous Dakar Rally, and recreational sand duning but will be also offered in non-competition trim.
Launched on the eve of last weekend’s Abu Dhabi GP, the Sand Racer is a composite-bodied two-door ‘SUV coupé’ that’s 4.2 metres long - just a little shorter than a Ford Focus. It’s powered by a rear-mounted 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine producing 304bhp in standard trim, although 400bhp and 500bhp versions will be offered as upgrades.
Only the rear wheels are driven - and through an automatic gearbox - but while this may sound unusual for an off-roader, it is the choice of a surprisingly large number of Dakar racers.
The Sand Racer has been developed in conjunction with Campos Racing, a Spanish operation that has enjoyed success in GP2 and Formula Three. The car’s aggressive styling is the work of Anthony Jannarelly, whose previous creations include the Lykan and Fenyr for Arab manufacturer W Motors.