Testers at Land Rover have been driving the wheels off the new Defender.
It won’t be long until we finally see the new Defender sans camouflage. To celebrate World Land Rover Day (your author had totally forgotten that was a thing), the company has announced plans for the new Land Rover Defender to complete a final phase of field testing in Kenya. There, it will haul heavy loads, ford rivers, and carry supplies across some pretty harsh terrain.
In case you’re wondering, World Land Rover Day is celebrated on April 30th every year to mark the world premiere of the original LR at the Amsterdam Motor Show on this day in 1948. #TheMoreYouKnow
By the time the new Defender makes its public debut later this year, the company says it will have passed nearly 50,000 individual tests in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Land Rover engineers have taken the test fleet to the 122 degree Fahrenheit desert heat, the sub-40 degree Fahrenheit cold of the Arctic, as well as up to 10,000ft altitude in the Rocky Mountains.
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 kilometers across all terrains and in extreme climates.”
They’ll need it, too. Stakes are high for Land Rover to get this one right, as the old Defender had legions of staunch fans who likely wouldn’t take to kindly to any dulling of this Landy’s legendary off-road capability.
The new Land Rover Defender was designed and developed in the UK, so expect a bit of British quirkiness to remain from the original. The company says it will debut before the calendar flips into 2020.