The all-new Land Rover Defender has quite a few boxes to tick, but one is much more important than all the others: it has to be stupidly good off-road. As such, Land Rover’s test programme for the vehicle is rather savage.
The British company has released a whole load of pictures showing members of the Defender prototype fleet being put through their paces. All in, the Defender will be put through 45,000 “individual tests” in a wide variety of environments.
Test locations include the muddy, rugged terrain of Eastnor Castle, the harsh, rocky environment of Moab, Utah, and in the United Arab Emirates’ vast sand dunes. Oh, and the Nurburgring, meaning the new Defender will hopefully be a little better at tarmac stuff than the old one.
It’s been driven in 50-degree heat, sub-40-degree cold, and altitudes as high as 10,000 feet. Already, the Defender has been driven around 750,000 miles. The wide variety of trials will “ensure the new Defender will take everyday life in its stride, for even its most adventurous customers,” Land Rover says.
One Defender prototype (above) is being prepared to play an important role brought about by Land Rover’s partnership with the Tusk Trust, an organisation which aims to protect African wildlife. It’s wearing its own special camouflage wrap and will be dispatched to the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy in Kenya. Here, it will transport supplies in tricky to reach locations, testing its abilities to the max.
We should be seeing the new Land Rover Defender in full at some point this year. It’ll be coming to the USA, bringing the Defender name back to the country for the first time in years. It won’t be cheap, though - reports suggest the starting price will be north of $55,000.