Defender goes on a desert bender

Riley Riley

Land Rover has been busy showing off it s new Defender, clothed in camo of course.

For its most recent outing the boys have been stirring up a storm in the sand dunes of Dubai.

Testing was carried out under the watchful eye of all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) — would be customers no doubt.

The replacement for the iconic off roader, which wrapped up production in 2016 after an unbroken 67-year run, is due to make its debut later this year. 

It’s got big boots to fill, with a model that came in more than 100 different combinations and configurations including short, mid and long wheelbase, and sold to military and civilian organisations around the world.

Land Rover’s engineers demonstrated the vehicle’s breadth of capability to their IFRC counterparts before IFRC fleet experts took to the wheel to test the vehicle for themselves.

Looks like they had a bit of fun haming it up on the desert sand dunes and the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway.

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.

Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Product Engineering, Nick Rogers, said 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,” he said.

“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.”

With greater diversity Australia would be an even better test of the car, but we’re not sure whether Nick, if that’s Nick (the caption didn’t say), should consider swapping his stylish leather shoes for something more appropriate — sandshoes might be a better choice?

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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