The New Defender Tested in Dubai

(Editor’s Note: Unedited Manufacturer Press Release)

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

Expert know-how: Land Rover visits the 4×4 experts at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) global fleet base in Dubai on the next step in the new Defender’s testing programme

Breadth of capability: New Defender tackles the region’s famous sand dunes and the hairpins of the renowned Jebel Jais highway, which winds its way up the tallest mountain in the UAE

Renewed relationship: Land Rover and the IFRC have agreed a new three-year global partnership to focus on disaster preparedness and response initiatives
Established partners: Land Rover has supported the IFRC since 1954 and is proud to work with the world’s largest humanitarian organisation in its centenary year

(Whitley, UK) – August 1, 2019 – 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 4×4 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.

Ilir Caushaj, IFRC’s Team Lead for Global Fleets and Logistics, said: “The Red Cross supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every country in the world. 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.

Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Product Engineering, said: “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. 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 test, which gave IFRC fleet experts the opportunity to experience the new Defender ahead of its world premiere, is the latest step in the new Defender’s development programme. So far, prototype models have covered more than 1.2 million kilometres of testing, including a week-long initiative with wildlife conservation charity Tusk, in Kenya, and a dynamic appearance on the famous hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The new Defender will have its world premiere later this year – register your interest at: landrover.com 

Press Release Ends

About Land Rover

Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque each define the world’s SUV sectors, with 80 per cent of this model range exported to over 100 countries.

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives and promote dignity around the world.

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Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona