New Land Rover Defender in desert testing

RED CROSS EXPERTS PUSH NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER PROTOTYPE TO THE LIMIT IN DESERT TESTING TO CELEBRATE RENEWAL OF 65-YEAR PARTNERSHIP

The new Land Rover Defender has been put through its paces under the watchful eye of all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the latest stage of its global testing programme. The prototype vehicle visited the IFRC global fleet base in Dubai, ahead of its public debut later this year.

Land Rover engineers demonstrated the vehicle’s breadth of capability to their IFRC counterparts both on and off road, before the IFRC fleet experts took to the wheel to test the vehicle for themselves on the region’s desert sand dunes and the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway, experiencing the assured handling and comfort of the new 4x4 as they wound their way up the tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates.

The test in Dubai coincides with the renewal of Land Rover’s global partnership with the IFRC – a relationship that dates back 65 years, to 1954, when the first specially adapted Land Rover entered service in the region as a mobile dispensary. This year marks the humanitarian organisation’s centenary 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.

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The IFRC fleet experts tested the Defender in soft sand among the rolling dunes of the desert, where the prototype model shrugged off the steep ascents, demanding side slopes and blind crests that characterise off-road driving in the region. 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.

Land Rover are proud to support the work of the IFRC. Since 1954 their vehicles have enabled access to remote and vulnerable communities, helping them become more resilient, and they hope the new Defender will maintain this heritage. The dunes of Dubai are the perfect place to confirm that this is the most capable Land Rover ever made. It sits on tyres with an overall diameter of up to 815mm, resulting in a very large contact patch. Coupled with our bespoke traction control system, which monitors and adjusts for a large variety of terrains, this makes the new Defender fantastic on sand and incredibly smooth on road as well.

The new Defender will have its world premiere later this year – register your interest here.

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