For inveterate explorers and passionate 4WDrivers, crossing the Simpson Desert is a big-ticket item on the must-do outback adventure list. It offers breathtaking beauty, including stunning sunrise and sunsets and ever-changing scenery of spinifex hummock grasslands and acacia scrublands, and even some narrow river red gum. The 180,000 square kilometres of land is one of the world’s largest deserts of longitudinal dunes, running Southeast to Northwest, crossing the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia borders.
The 1,100 dunes in close succession come in varying heights up to a towering 90 meters. With soft deep powdery sand and salt flats that may contain high moisture content, a desert crossing in searing temperatures imposes considerable strain and stress on a vehicle’s capability and durability.
On the 16th March 2023, two professional drivers – Gene Corbett (Total Driver) and Ben Robinson (4WD Industries) – undertook the challenging task of traversing the Simpson desert traveling east to west some 385kms from Birdsville in Queensland to Alkaseltzer Bore in South Australia. The task was to complete the journey in the quickest possible time, whilst respecting and adhering to the legal 40km per hour speed limits that apply within all parks as required by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of South Australia.
Driving a standard production Mahindra Scorpio, they set about tackling the arduous terrain in blistering heat, encountering temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius. Maintaining an average speed of 30kph over dunes, through deep rutted sand and lengthy sections of torque sapping goop, the Scorpio’s relentless determination delivered consistent performance, clearly demonstrating the capability and durability of its engineering design and manufacturing build quality.
Completing the journey in 13 hours, 21 minutes and 5 seconds, the success of the expedition was verified by officials at Guinness World Records.
On the 4th of July 2023, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the global manufacturer of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), proudly celebrated its flagship model, the Scorpio, accomplishing a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title. The accolade was for “Fastest crossing by a production vehicle of the Simpson desert”, with the Scorpio acquitting itself admirably, and successfully traversing difficult terrain and high temperatures to complete the task.
The Driver Team said, “The Mahindra Scorpio has truly proven its unbeatable durability, high endurance, and unmatched capability by becoming the fastest production vehicle to cross the Simpson Desert, considered as one of the toughest desert crossings in the world. I am proud to be a part of history by setting this record and have enjoyed every bit of it. The Scorpio boasts pure traction and offers an authentic SUV experience with its 4XPLOR terrain management system, making it as capable as any 4WD on Australian soil.”
“Scorpio’s journey, conquering 1100+ sand dunes in a gruelling 13-hour drive across the challenging Simpson Desert, truly captures the essence of global motoring. Witnessing this awe-inspiring feat first-hand has left me in awe of the Scorpio’s exceptional performance and durability.”
Sachin Arolkar, Head International Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “Our iconic SUV has broken a Guinness World Records title by achieving the fastest crossing by a production vehicle of the Simpson desert in Australia. This is an incredible feat and is a true testament to the Scorpio’s unbeatable combination of high-end engineering, performance capability, and durability. We are proud to have pushed the boundaries of what is possible with this vehicle, and we cannot wait for Australian enthusiasts to experience the thrill that Scorpio brings.”
Scorpio was launched in April in Australia. SUV enthusiasts can now experience the performance and capabilities of the Scorpio Z8 first-hand from a $41,990 drive away price.
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