Some days back we reported about the new Range Rover Sport getting ready for a desert expedition, dubbed as ‘Empty Quarter’ in Saudi Arabia. While today the good news is that, the British off-roader has crossed that desert patch successfully and marked a record in the Guinness Book of World Records.
However, the ‘Empty Quarter’ is known as one of the harshest and most challenging desert environments on the planet. The Empty Quarter – or Rub’ al Khali – is the largest sand desert in the world and the second largest desert after the Sahara.
The team started the journey from Wadi Adda Wasir in Saudi Arabia, stretching across 849km all the way to the destination at border of the United Arab Emirates in just 10 hours and 22 minutes at an average speed of 51.87 mph (81.87 km/h), where the route dictated by the conditions on the ground.
To make the condition worst, temperatures in the desert exceeds 50°C, with no reliable water sources and an ever-shifting terrain, with sand dunes rising 850ft into the air. Hence, the said terrain puts the driver to the real test against his machine. We learnt that, the man behind the wheel of new Range Rover Sport was the 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. Though, to conclusion, the vehicle has proven its worth even in some of the harshest terrains on earth, with the luxury at its best on the lap.
Commenting on this achievement, 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 set off for the expedition following the first ray of light on 3rd November 2013, and finished the challenge 10 hours later on the border at the time of falling sunset.
New Range Rover Sport hadn’t entertained any of the changes for this challenge, except the fitment of an underbody protection plate. Meanwhile, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine of 510PS with standard tyres stood frugal amongst all the odds.
‘Empty Quarter” is the second challenge that the new Range Rover Sport has completed in recent months, following the recent record of 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.
More about the Empty Quarter, the region is spanned across four countries in the Arabic Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. And probably, the specialized 4×4 off road vehicles only are driven here, where they are taught to be approached with extreme caution.