There’s a real love of speed in the United Arab Emirates. It’s inevitable, really, in a country where there’s not much else to do but race across its vast tracts of desert.

Which brings us to this Sand Racer concept. No, it isn’t Judge Dredd’s new weekend wheels, it’s the first product from new UAE-based manufacturer Zarooq Motors.

It looks like a Dakar Rally refugee and the spec sheet seems to have been lifted straight from the FIA’s rule book. Power comes from a 3.5-litre V6 of unspecified origin, producing between 300bhp and 500bhp, depending on spec.

The suspension has up to 450mm of travel and the bodywork is made entirely from carbonfibre. As such, the Sand Racer weighs next to nothing, just 950kg. Performance should easily be on par with a World Rally Car.

Despite its motorsport-grade spec, the Sand Racer is primarily a road car capable of extreme off-roading. As such, it comes with such luxuries as aircon and decent seats. But Zarooq – named after the fastest, most agile snake in the Arabian desert – does plan to lay on a dedicated one-make rallying series for the Sand Racer.

“The UAE are famous for amazing deserts, extreme safari motorsport and dune motorsport,” said Zarooq Motors boss, Mohammed Al Qadi. “But the performance of US and Japanese cars just wasn’t good enough. So we decided to assemble a team design and build the car we have all dreamed about specifically made to race in the desert.”

Prices for road-legal versions of the Sand Racer are expected to be priced from $80,000 – $160,000 (£52,000 – £104,000), depending on spec. Zarooq estimates deliveries will start early next year.

There’s a slight whiff of vapourware around the Zarooq Sand Racer, but we hope it does become a reality. There can’t be enough wild off-road racers in the world.

For more information click here

By Only Motors