A couple of days ago, we told you that Land Rover was busy attempting to set the fastest recorded time for a land vehicle crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ with its new Range Rover Sport. Well, it has now been announced that the Sport has succeeded in setting a new record.
The Land Rover team completed the journey from Wadi Adda Wasir in Saudi Arabia to the border of the United Arab Emirates in 10 hours and 22 minutes at an average speed of 81.87 km/h, covering a distance of 849km – the route dictated by the conditions on the ground.
The time was set by a standard production new Range Rover Sport with a 375 kW 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, running standard tyres. The only modification to the vehicle was the fitment of an underbody protection plate.
The vehicle was driven by Land Rover driver Moi Torrallardona, a 47 year-old Spanish off-road racer with extensive experience of the Dakar Rally, in which he competed for ten successive years with a best finish of 6th overall.
Torrallardona said: “The challenge of the desert is like nothing else, it is a brutal, unforgiving and sometimes deadly environment. Desert driving requires a unique combination of speed, finesse and technical skill. It is crucial that you tackle the dunes with precision. Knowing the right time to go full throttle and the right time to slow down, takes experience and clear judgement. This unique way of driving requires a vehicle which has the same skillset – it must be both incredibly fast but also agile, responsive and well planted. The Range Rover Sport is exactly that. It is massively capable and is truly the best tool for conquering the desert.”
The team encountered a constantly challenging landscape including vast sand flats, soft dunes and epic canyons. They set off at first light on November 3rd and finished the challenge 10 hours later on the border as the sun was setting.
The challenge is the second that the new Range Rover Sport has completed in recent months, following its record hill climb for a production SUV at Pikes Peak back in June. These feats are part of a series of global driving challenges in which the Range Rover Sport is pushed to new limits.