Land Rover Defender Enters Final Phase of Testing in Africa

May 02, 2019, 00:35
Land Rover Defender Enters Final Phase of Testing in Africa

The Defender, when it makes public debut later this year would have completed more than 45,000 tests in the most unforgiving and grueling environments in the world. The prototype will be put through its paces by towing heavy loads, wading through rivers and carrying supplies across challenging terrain at the 14 000-hectare reserve.

It will be a sad day for the folks at Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Solihull, United Kingdom, as the automaker on Tuesday confirmed that the redesigned Defender coming later this year will skip the nameplate's traditional home in favor of a new plant in Slovakia.

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LAND Rover's highly anticipated all-new Defender off-road SUV is now undergoing its final stage of testing in Kenya, where a prototype is serving as a donor vehicle for wildlife conservation charity Tusk Trust. Production of the model will take place at the company's new manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia. These include 50-degree heat of the desert, the sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, as well as altitudes of up to 10,000 feet at the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

It is understood that the new Defender will copy its predecessor with short (90-inch) and long (110-inch) wheelbases and will be the basis for a range of vehicles with different specialties. "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 program".

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The company told City A.M. the decision was not Brexit related, but that the model was designed and engineered in the United Kingdom, and would use engines built in Wolverhampton.

The new engine is offered alongside the existing V6 and V8 diesels, the plug-in hybrid and V8. Today, the Land Rover celebrates 71 years of all-terrain expertise, since its debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

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First introduced on the Range Rover Sport, the new turbocharged Ingenium engines will gradually replace the ageing Ford-sourced supercharged V6s in use across Jaguar and Land Rover's ranges.