The prototype of the new Land Rover Defender is going through meticulous testing to ensure that it really is the best in class when it comes to an all-terrain vehicle. The vehicle was rigorously tested by all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as part of the latest global testing program at IFRC global fleet base in Dubai, in the runup to its public debut later in 2019.
Land Rover’s engineering team showcased the vehicle’s on and offroad capabilities to their counterparts, before the IFRC fleet experts checked the vehicle for themselves on dunes in the desert and the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway. Their tests further confirmed the high levels of handling and comfort the new 4×4 delivered as they wound their way up the tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates.
The test in Dubai also was held on the same day that marked the renewal of Land Rover’s global partnership with the IFRC. The relationship between the two organizations dates back to 1954, when the first specially adapted Land Rover was used in the region as a mobile dispensary. IFRC is celebrating its centenary this year as it celebrates ‘100 Years of Hope’. Over the next three years, Land Rover will support disaster preparedness and response initiatives in locations including India, Mexico and Australia.
Ilir Caushaj, IFRC’s Team Lead for Global Fleets and Logistics, said: “The Red Cross supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every country in the world. We operate in some of the most hard-to-reach places on earth, often working in very difficult terrain, so our teams have to be able to cope with anything. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with Land Rover since 1954, and to be putting their new Defender to the test, as together they help us reach vulnerable communities in crisis, whoever and wherever in the world they are.”
The expert team from IFRC checked how the Defender performed in soft sand among the rolling dunes of the desert. The prototype of the new Defender easily tackled the steep ascents, demanding side slopes and blind crests which are commonly seen when you go off road in Dubai. With temperatures in excess of 40-degrees, the iconic hairpins of the Jebel Jais highway were the next destination, as the Defender demonstrated its on-road comfort and agile handling, scaling altitudes of nearly 2,000m.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Product Engineering, said that Jaguar Land Rover was proud to support the IFRC’s work. The company’s vehicles have been used from 1954 for IFRC to gain access to remote and vulnerable communities, so that these communities could become more resilient
He went on to express his hope that the new Defender will maintain this heritage. The dunes of Dubai proved to be the perfect place to confirm that this is the most capable Land Rover ever made. The new Defender sports tires having an overall diameter of up to 815mm, resulting in a very large contact patch. Along with the company’s bespoke traction control system, which monitors and adjusts for a large variety of terrains, these tires make the new Defender fantastic on sand and incredibly smooth on road as well
The test, which gave IFRC fleet experts the opportunity to experience the new Defender ahead of its world premiere, is the latest step in the new Defender’s development program. So far, prototype models have covered more than 1.2 million kilometres of testing, including a week-long initiative with wildlife conservation charity Tusk, in Kenya, and a dynamic appearance on the famous hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The new Defender will have its world premiere later this year – register your interest at: https://www.landrover-uae.com/en/defender
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