Remember the SandRacer 500GT? Back in 2015, on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, the UAE’s home-grown outfit Zarooq Motors unveiled the SandRacer as the foundation of a possible one-make off-road championship in the country. At the time, Mohammed Al Qadi, Motorsport director of Zarooq Motors had announced plans to open a sand racing track in Dubai to conduct the race as well. However, things didn’t work out as planned, and Anthony Jannarelly, who designed the SandRacer, as well as W Motors’ Lykan hypercar, went on to start his own company that built the Design-1, a homage of sorts to Fifties and Sixties roadsters.
Now Bruno Laffite, who was the operations director at Zarooq Motors, has announced that he will launch the high-speed dune runner under a new brand name. His company, Laffite Supercars, has fine-tuned the SandRacer jointly with G-Tec and Team Virage and named it the Laffite G-Tec X-Road. While the Zarood SandRacer was to be powered by a 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine that was good for 300 horsepower, the Laffite X-Road will be powered by a 6.2-litre LS3 V8 from GM that churns out 405 horsepower with a supercharged variant putting out 700 horsepower.
The photos that have been released point to an off-roader that is more production ready than the SandRacer was in 2015, with even the interior revealed and looking good. Transmission choices include either a five-speed sequential gearbox or six-speed ‘box with paddle shifters, sending power to the rear wheels. This means the X-Road is not an SUV despite its similarities to a Lamborghini Urus. It is an all-terrain supercar with just two seats. With 17 inches of suspension travel, it promises to be a highly capable one too.
Priced at $465,000 upwards, deliveries are expected to start by end of this year, with an all-electric model also in the works.