The new Land Rover Defender is one of the most eagerly-anticipated vehicles of the 21st century. The reimagined legend is just around the corner and currently undergoing final testing.
Recently the new Defender was 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 Dubai.
The experts from IFRC tested the vehicle both on and off road from its global fleet base, taking in the car's breadth of capability. It took in the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway up the highest mountain in the region, as well as the famous sand dunes of the region.
"The Red Cross supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every country in the world," said Ilir Caushaj, IFRC’s Team Lead for Global Fleets and Logistics. "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 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 and the IFRC have had a relationship dating all the way back to 1954, when the manufacturer supplied the red cross with an adapted Land Rover which saw used as a mobile dispensary. This year Land Rover will also be supporting causes in India, Mexico, and Australia.
"Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the work of the IFRC. Since 1954 our vehicles have enabled access to remote and vulnerable communities, helping them become more resilient, and we hope the new Defender will maintain this heritage," said Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Product Engineering. "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."