What do you do if you’re a diehard supercar enthusiast but also happen to live in a place where a supercar would be one of the most impractical vehicle choices you could make? That’s where the company Zarooq Motors comes in to save the day. Zarooq is the first Emirati car manufacturer, and they announced back in 2015 they would be working on a car that’ll fill their niche market. And they just recently debuted the final design and specs of what the production model will be. They are calling it the Sandracer 500GT and as funky as it might look, it could actually be a pretty sweet little ride.
Zarooq Motors may not be the most well-known car brand in the world, but one day they could be. The team is made up of both luxury and motorsports experts and backed by some of the most talented engineers from Mansory and Campos Racing. They were tired of having these supercars that are only worth a damn at the racetrack because once you took them out in the real world something as minuscule as a speed bump could totally ruin your day. They claim their Sandracer 500GT is the car you can take to the track and thrash around with the best of them, then when you’re finished you could take for a luxurious commute through the city. Then on the weekends take it out for a hardcore off-road session in some of the harshest dunes in the Arabian Desert.
Let’s talk about some of the specs of the SandRacer and see if we can determine whether or not it has the capabilities it claims to have. Based strictly on the performance specs, we can check that box because it has a stout mid-mounted 6.2L V8 that’s pushing out 525hp. With a curb weight just over 2600lbs, that’s not a lot of weight to throw around with that much power on tap. Zarooq managed to keep the weight to a minimum thanks to high-dollar lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, which there is a lot of on the 500GT. It should be pointed out that the highly skilled crew at Mansory handled all the carbon fiber work, as well as the hand stitched leather interior. Both of which we know Mansory specializes in based on previous models we’ve talked about such as the stunning LINEA Vincerò d’Oro Veyron.
All that power will be sent to the rear wheels only via a 5-speed sequential gearbox built by Weddle. I must admit that it caught me by surprise that it was rear wheel only considering it’s off-road roots and intentions. But then again, technically most desert race trucks and buggies are rear wheel drive only, so maybe they are sticking to the race strategy. Zarooq installed 6-piston calipers to provide more than enough clamping power and ventilated rotors to prevent overheating.
Regarding the looks of the Sandracer, it’s definitely unique, there’s no doubt about that. But surprisingly, it was designed by people that previously worked on designing hypercars. However, it’s not all form and no function. There’s a roll cage that’s built into it just in case you decide to push the 500GT too far past its limits. When I first saw pictures of this car, I thought it resembled the Lykan Hypersport in a way, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And there’s a reason it resembles the Lykan, it was actually designed by the same person. Like I mentioned above, the interior was done by Mansory and it’s supposed to have the same quality and craftsmanship that Mansory is known for. And don’t forget, this is considered a luxury off-road vehicle so it does come standard with a top of the line infotainment system as well as the much-needed air conditioning system.
A catchy design and a powerful mid-mounted V8 is good and all, but that won’t help when the road gets rough. That where the suspension system comes into play. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a whole lot of information regarding the details of the system, but what I did find is pretty impressive. It apparently has an Intrax Racing Suspension that will provide 17.5 inches of travel all around. While it’s not the 24-36 inches you see on a Trophy Truck, it is four inches more than what you’ll see on a Gen II Raptor.
Strictly based on the fact that it’s being built out of Dubai tells us that it’s not going to be cheap. But even with that being said, I was shocked to find out they were asking $450,000 for the SandRacer 500GT! Apparently, this first batch will only consist of a total of 35 vehicles and they’ve already sold quite a few to collectors throughout Europe and the Middle East. If it ends up being something like an Ariel Nomad on steroids, and a true high performance vehicle, both on the track as well as off-road, and have a fully enclosed luxurious cabin with all the creature comforts you could as for, then maybe it’ll be worth the money.