2017 Zarooq Sand Racer – a 500HP DAKAR LYKAN?

A fresh supercar to report today! The 2017 Zarooq Motors Sand Racer — the launch model for an all-new Emirati sportscar venture. Proudly designed and made in the UAE, the Sand Racer hopes to take the bespoke supercar crazy into the dunes.

A bespoke racing chassis mounts its 500HP engine in the rear for optimal offroad balance, while the bodywork is exciting and feels like an authentic rally raid prototype from the Dakar series. That bodywork was penned by the lead designer of the W Motors Lykan Hypersport — bringing plenty of local flavor to the military-style bodywork.

The project is clearly not as well-capitalized as W Motors, but may find just as eager a market for custom off-roaders. The truck promises supercar performance on or off the tarmac of Yas Marina circuit — but details remain pretty fluid at this time.lykan green

The Sand Racer is firmly headed for production, however, in a fairly low-volume basis. The first 20 trucks will be Inaugural editions and can be reserved from today at the Zarooq website links below.

Comfort in the cabin will be fairly spartan — like a racecar — but the ride should be decent thanks to a long-travel racing suspension and jumbo tires. Handling tune and chassis R&D is a question-mark, however. The engine’s origin is also unknown as of now. Zarooq promises power outputs between 350 and 500HP. We’d guess it is a Ford Motorsport EcoBoost crate engine, but it could also be a turbodiesel of some kind.

The 3.5L displacement, by the way, matches the Peugeot DKR16 dakar racer, but that LeMans-spec engine puts out a thumping 900 pound-feet of torque… clearly far more than any EcoBoost so far.

Granted, that Peugeot engine probably costs about as much as the entire Sand Racer from Zarooq Motors. The road-legal (outside Europe and USA) Sand Racer’s pricing is set to start at $80k, and jump to 160k with options or the extra-power engine. Deliveries are ballparked for Spring 2016, but the normal caveats apply.

This compares favorably with the Local Motors Rally Fighter, which is similar in concept but not execution. Most significantly, the Sand Racer is rear-engined versus the front-mid engine location of the Rally Fighter. Both are likely to be rear-drive only, in the desert pre-runner tradition.

2017 Zarooq Sand Racer



Press Release – October 2015

Sand racing car, made in UAE

“The Zarooq Sand Racer is the first car specifically designed for the UAE desert,” says Zarooq Director and former French racing champion Bruno Laffite. “The UAE are famous for amazing deserts, extreme safari motorsport and dune racing, but the performance of US and Japanese cars just wasn’t good enough. So we decided to assemble a team to design and build the car we have all dreamed about, specifically made to race in the desert”, says Zarooq director Mohammed Al Qadi, ex Senior Director Operations of YAs Marina Circuit.

The result is the Zarooq Sand Racer, a road legal production car capable of eating dunes with the power-to-weight ratio of a supercar and a stunning look.


The Zarooq “Sand Racer” is the first car made in the UAE and specifically designed for the desert.
It is a true racing car yet road legal, closed and with AC with a stunning body with a unique design and a racing chassis.


The interior, as performance oriented as you would expect from a true racing car, features stunning carbon fibre. Since the Zarooq Sand racer is handmade, many bespoke options are available in terms of performance, equipment or car bodies.

                                            Weight | 950kg                                                      Suspension | 350-450 mm travel
                                            Power | 300-500 hp                                               Engine | 3.5l V6

The Zarooq sand racer is definitely a racing car, it is aggressive, imposing and yet very agile. Its line like no other will stand out on the dunes, in races or on the road.
There is clearly something Italian about its flair, and modern style; there is something of the German precision in its chassis; There is something American about its raw power but I definitely is a car born in the UAE desert.
It is high perched on powerful suspensions and the massive wheels are a distinct Off Road attribute while the body itself inspires speed and modernity


We want to create an environment around the Zarooq, for this we are creating two complementing products:
1. UAE single make off-road championship featuring the Zarooq Sand Racer
2. A multifunctional top-level sand circuit (for training, racing, corporate events and leisure (Arrive & Drive) where racers, corporates and tourists can drive the Zarooq Sand Racer.

The team will also launch a dedicated single-make championship in the UAE with dedicated racing chassis preparation for the Zarooq Sand racer, maintenance and racing packages e.g. with the participation of Formula One (ex-Winfield) instructors. This exciting championship will harness social networks to attract spectators and dedicated apps to boost competitors.
Zarooq is currently investing in a “Dubai off-road racing circuit”, so that the Zarooq drivers can benefit from the best sand facilities in the world to enjoy the performance of their car and deliver spectacular performances for the public during races. “The track will allow UAE residents and companies, as well as foreign visitors, to try the Zarooq Sand racer for themselves. There will be “arrive-and-drive” offers as well as corporate event facilities and we will also be launching an off-road racing school,” says Iannis Mardell.

The launch: announcements during 2015 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix
Press Conference: Tues24th November 2.00pm, Sofitel The Palm, Dubai (please contact us for accreditation and location details).
 Zarooq team and partners introduction
 Presentation and Detailed Specifications of the Zarooq Sand Racer
 Introduction of Zarooq brand values, vision and strategy
 Announcement of world premiere car display in the UAE, journalist and customer trials in the desert.
NB: No interview will be given prior to the Press Conference
Delivery & pricing:
Cars can be pre-ordered now and expect first deliveries in early 2016. The first 20 cars will be a Special Inaugural Edition. Price, depending on Model, Edition and Options: $80.000 to 160.000.




Jannarelly&Juillot Special is our main design and manufacturing Partner in the UAE.
Anthony Jannarelly, came to global automotive industry fame as the design Director of W Motors, focusing his work on the exterior and interior design of the Lykan Hypersport, hero car of the latest blockbuster movie Fast and Furious 7.
Frederic Juillot is an expert in advanced composite materials. He is partner with Anthony Jannarelly for JJSpecial and the owner of EQUATION COMPOSITES LLC, a 7 years established company in UAE, specialized in composite custom projects. He brings a strong manufacturing background in the luxury and performance segments of cars and Racing Boats manufacturings


Campos Racing supported the conception of the chassis. It was founded in 1998 when Adrian Campos having competed successfully for over eighteen years. The objective of this new project was to bring young talent to the highest level in world motor racing. Campos competes in various categories (GP2, GP3, WTCC, Formula E, …)
Campos has won the first Formula E driver Championship in 2015 with Nelson Piquet Junior.
Chief engineer, Philippe Gautheron, has 25 years of successful motorsport engineering supporting champions (e.g. Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov) to win. He personally supervised the development of the chassis in support of Zarooq teams


Sofitel is our official Partner for our premium events




Mohammed, a UAE National who graduated from Ajman University, has been a pillar of motorsport in his country for more than 15 years. He started his career in Motor Sports back in 1994 as a volunteer marshal at one of the local rallies, and since was involved in cars and motorsport, for instance as a volunteer for all the events held back then by the Emirates Motor Sports Association (now known as Emirates Motor Sports Federation), and moved up the ladder from being a marshal, to Rally Stage commander all the way to become the UAE Rally Championship Manager

Bruno comes from a family blessed by Motorsport history, his uncle Jacques Laffite being one of the most famous French Formula One Driver. : He has 25 years of experience in the motor racing world, as driver in various European championship (Formula Renault, Formula Ford, Formula 3), as well as  Indycar in the US as a test driver.
Bruno coached Sebastian Bourdais in Indycar and won 4 titles, and also Adrien Tambay (AUDI) in the German DTM championship.

Iannis, a British and French Citizen, graduated from ESSEC MBA, has 15 years of experience in strategy consulting in international Top-Tier firms. He has worked for global leaders in the sports industry as well as automotive players. In the Middle East, he has worked on the issue of local industrialization and in the motorsport field
He has close ties with the founders of the Winfield Racing school (Mike Knight and Simon de Lautour), which was the most prolific source of Formula one drivers (over thirty).
Iannis has a strong experience in operations efficiency, innovation and strategy with a cross sector and international perspective with 4 years of experience in the UAE

The founders met because of their racing pedigree and competence. The initial idea revolved on how to promote UAE motor racing, how to groom the future Emirati champions? Where do you find them today, not on a track but in the desert!

The only problem was that this talent can only be unleashed with a proper tool, with proper racing cars made for the desert. There aren’t any that are good enough, that look good enough, which perform well enough on the dunes, which can be easily procured.

We, in the Emirates are proud of our country and we want to offer people of the UAE a car they can be proud of. We created Zarooq in 2015 and made a car for them, specifically, a car that is made for racing in style, in the desert, while being versatile and road legal


The name was inspired by the Schockari Sand Racer, the fastest snake in the desert, in Emirati: Zarooq (زاروق)



What do you think?