A lightly modified version of the recently launched Mahindra Scorpio body-on-frame SUV has set a new Guinness World Record for the “fastest crossing by a production vehicle of the Simpson Desert”.

    The Simpson Desert is the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world, spanning more than 170,000 square kilometres and touching the Northern Territory, Queensland, and South Australia.

    Co-drivers Gene Corbett and Ben Robinson piloted the Scorpio across the iconic central Australian desert in a record-breaking 13 hours, 21 minutes and 5 seconds. This result has been verified by officials at Guinness World Records.

    The team commenced their record-breaking run on March 16 in Birdsville, Queensland, and concluded it at Alka Seltzer Bore, South Australia. They travelled a total of 385km and over approximately 1100 sand dunes with a peak outside temperature of 50 degrees Celsius.

    The only modifications made to the Australian-specification Mahindra Scorpio were the standard highway-terrain tyres were swapped out for a set of Cooper Rugged Trek tyres, and the second-row captain’s chairs were removed with two spare tyres and jerry cans put in their place.

    This record-breaking crossing of the Simpson Desert marks almost 61 years since a G60 Datsun Patrol completed the first motorised crossing. It’s worth noting this trip took around two weeks, with the Sprigg family averaging around 5km/h in their Patrol.

    The Mahindra Scorpio, known as the Scorpio-N in other markets, launched in Australia in April this year and is currently available in two variants.

    The entry-level Scorpio Z8 is priced from $41,990 drive-away, and the flagship Z8L is now priced from $45,990 drive-away following a recent price rise.

    All Scorpio variants have six seats and are powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 129kW and 400Nm. This is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with drive sent through a part-time four-wheel drive system.

    As recently reported, Mahindra is already looking at expanding the Scorpio line-up.

    “I think powertrains and seating options are being evaluated both for XUV700 and Scorpio,” Mahindra’s automotive boss Veejay Nakra recently told CarExpert.

    “Scorpio, we are working on upgrading to a seven-seat as part of the mid-product cycle update,” said Ankit Taneja, national manager of Mahindra Automotive Australia.

    It’s unclear whether this configuration would join or replace the existing six-seat layout, which features second-row captain’s chairs.

    The company has previously confirmed the vehicle would receive autonomous emergency braking as part of a refresh, sometime before a March 1, 2025 deadline mandating its fitment on all new vehicles in Australia.

    Only then will Mahindra look at having the Scorpio assessed by ANCAP.

    MORE: Everything Mahindra Scorpio

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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