Range Rover Sport Sets Fastest Desert Crossing Time with Avg. Speed of 81.87 KM/H (50.87 MPH)

A good way to get publicity for new models is to establish records few thought about before. After setting a record for production SUVs at Pikes Peak this summer, Land Rover has claimed another first with the new Range Rover Sport, this time off-road.

The SUV set the fastest time for a land vehicle crossing of the “Empty Quarter”, the largest sand desert in the world and the second largest desert overall after the Sahara.

Land Rover’s 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 51.87 mph (81.87 km/h), covering a distance of 849 km (527 miles) on a route dictated by the conditions on the ground.

The record was made with a standard production new Range Rover Sport fitted with a 510PS 5.0-liter supercharged V8 petrol engine, riding on regular tyres. The only modification to the vehicle was the addition of an underbody protection plate.

Behind the wheel was Land Rover driver Moi Torrallardona, a 47 year-old Spanish off-road racer who has competed 10 consecutive years at the Dakar Rally, with a best finish of 6th overall.

“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,” said Torrallardona.

“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,” he added.

By Dan Mihalascu


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