The Empty Quarter, or Rub’ al Khali as it is known in Arabic, is the largest sand desert in the world and the second largest desert after the Sahara on the planet. It is an enormous and incredibly harsh environment; taking up an area close to the size of North America. It spans 4 countries in the Arabic Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Temperatures regularly rise above 50 degrees C and any crossing, no matter how well organised, must be approached with extreme caution.
Land Rover is currently attempting to set the fastest recorded time for a land vehicle crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ with its new Range Rover Sport, proving that its sporty and plush SUV is still capable of handling the rough stuff.
In the days running up to the challenge last minute checks are being made, with the challenge vehicle being prepped at the start line in Wadi Adda Wasir, Saudi Arabia. The route runs from there towards the finish line on the border of the United Arab Emirates, a distance of over 1000km – further than the length of France. The driver is be 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.
The new Range Rover Sport taking on the challenge is a production-spec model, challenging terrain where usually only specialist sand vehicles are found.
A full press release, selection of images from the challenge and b-roll will apparently be available on the 4th of November, with the challenge vehicle due to be displayed at the Dubai Motor Show on the 5th of November. A short documentary of the record attempt will then follow. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.