Land Rover has announced plans for the new Defender to complete a final phase of field testing with the Tusk Trust, on location in Kenya. The prototype will tow heavy loads, wade through rivers and carry supplies across unforgiving terrain in a series of real-world trials at the 14,000-hectare reserve.
The company says that by the time the new Defender makes its public debut later this year, it will have passed more than 45,000 individual tests in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Land Rover engineers have taken the test fleet to the 50-degree heat of the desert, the sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, as well as up to 10,000ft altitude of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to ensure the new Defender will take everyday life in its stride, for even its most adventurous customers.
Nick Rogers, Executive Director Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “In addition to the extensive simulation and rig testing, we’ve driven new Defender 1.2 million kilometres across all terrains and in extreme climates to ensure that it is the toughest and most capable Land Rover ever made. The incredible opportunity to put it to the test in the field, supporting operations at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya, with Tusk, will allow our engineers to verify that we are meeting this target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”
The new Defender has been designed and developed in the UK, at Gaydon, home to Land Rover’s design, engineering and testing facilities. The new home of global Defender production will be Land Rover’s recently opened manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.