Car manufacturer Nissan highlighted the capabilities of its new Patrol SUV last month in emphatic style, with a successful attempt at the world record for “heaviest aircraft pulled by a production vehicle”.

The nearly 3-ton 4WD vehicle pulled a 170.9-ton cargo plane for more than 164 feet (50 meters) during the attempt at Sharjah International Airport in the UAE.

The cargo plane towed by the Patrol was an Ilyushin Il-76, an airlifter first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967. It was designed for delivering heavy machinery to remote locations in the former USSR. It was fully fueled and loaded for the pull.

The attempt beat the previous record by over 15 tons, which was set in 2006 when a Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI towed a Boeing 747 weighing 155 tons (140.6 tonnes).

The attempt formed part of the Nissan Patrol Challenge. Launched last year, the promotion invited residents living in countries within Nissan’s Middle Eastern markets to submit ideas for how to put the vehicle to the test.

It marks the second Guinness World Record set by Nissan in Dubai this year, with the company’s indoor illuminated advertising sign at Dubai International Airport setting a benchmark as the world’s largest in February.

"Today Nissan celebrates another landmark day in the Middle East with its second Guinness World Record in eight months,” says Mr. Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle-East. “When we began this project we encouraged the people of the Middle East to dream up the next and ultimate challenge for the Hero of All Terrain, Nissan Patrol. The overwhelming response has been the inspiration for today's historic events and we thank all who participated and His Excellency and the Sharjah International Airport for their priceless cooperation.”

The record attempt attracted the attention of the international motoring press, with coverage for Nissan including Autotalk.com, Autoweek.com, Autoblog.com, along with Nieuws.nl and Emirates247.com