Celebrating 71 years of expertise of traversing across the most challenging terrains, Land Rover made its original debut on the 30th of April, 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. To mark this occasion, Land Rover has announced plans for the new Defender to complete a final phase of field testing with the Tusk Trust, on location in Kenya. A Defender prototype wearing a unique camouflage will experience life at the Borana Conservancy as part of Land Rover’s 15-year partnership with the Tusk Trust. The prototype will tow heavy loads, wade through rivers and carry supplies across unforgiving terrain in a series of real-world trials at the 14 000 hectare reserve. The new home of Global Defender production will be Land Rover’s recently opened state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.
To be introduced later this year in production form, the prototype fleet has hit the 1.2 million km landmark, having passed a huge number of tests, a total of 45,000, in some of the most extreme climatic conditions of the world. Land Rover engineers have taken the test fleet to the 50-degree heat of the desert, the sub-40-degree cold of the Arctic, as well as up to 10 000 ft altitude of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to ensure the new Defender will take everyday life in its stride, for even its most adventurous customers. With on-road dynamics honed at the Nürburgring facility in Germany and all-terrain credentials tested on the muddy roads of Eastnor, UK, the rocky trails of Moab in Utah, and the sand dunes of Dubai, the new 4×4 promises to bring an unparalleled breadth of capability and new levels of comfort and driveability to the Defender family.
Nick Rogers, Director Group Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “In addition to the extensive simulation and rig testing, we’ve driven new Defender 1.2 million km across all terrains and in extreme climates to ensure that it is the toughest and most capable Land Rover ever made. The incredible opportunity to put it to the test in the field, supporting operations at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya, with Tusk, will allow our engineers to verify that we are meeting this target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”