The all new Range Rover hybrid prototype is set to revolutionise the way that Land Rover tackles carbon-emissions while delivering the top quality performance associated with the brand’s reputation.
In order to put the vehicle to the ultimate test, three of the models have embarked on a difficult cross continental trip, tackling the Silk Trail.
The route was the first trading route which connected Asia with Europe, and was established more than 2,000 years ago. However, the Range Rover’s trip did start in the slightly easier terrain of Solihull.
On the 10,600 mile journey from the West Midlands town to the popular Indian city of Mumbai, the Range Rover will have to negotiate a number of problems, including climate issues, road qualities, off-roading and late night driving.
So far, the three musketeers have conquered the hot deserts of Uzbekistan, and the Kyrgyzstan mountains have provided the latest obstacles.
The muddy mountain ascents and rocky cattle trails proved to be no match for the 4×4, despite the landscape trying its best to prevent the Range Rover from making any progress.
Despite suffering a few punctures on the way, the cars made it successfully over the difficult Kyrgyzstan terrain, leaving just 6,332 miles until the journey is complete.
If the Range Rover continues their successful travels, the car will soon be put into full production, and UK customers will be able to benefit from the top-quality performance, tested in the world’s harshest environments.
In the Central Asian country, some of the toughest trials of the trek so far presented themselves. Most notable of these, unquestionably, was the Fergana mountain range, which saw the iconic 4×4 attempt to cross narrow and rutted mud tracks, in the pitch black of the night.
While attempting to climb a hill to a clearing at the summit, the Range Rover nearly met its match. The 12 mile track up a steep incline was made even more difficult by the heavy rain that had fallen, causing the trail to be wet and muddy. However, after a seven hour endurance test, the Range Rover triumphed.
High altitudes were also expected to be a difficult factor, with icy wind and low-lying clouds hampering visibility. At 5,875 feet on the first day, and 11,000 feet on the second, the team had to struggle through severe changes in the atmosphere, with an ascent to 13,035 feet waiting.
While it seemed like the most challenging part was complete, there was then the rather complicated matter of getting back down.
Using electric motors only, the Range Rover was able to tackle the descent with little issues, with braking at hairpin turns helping the regenerate the battery’s charge.
The cars now have a further 4,300 miles to conquer in the coming weeks, with the China border set to be crossed.
It seems that the Range Rover has tackled all that nature can throw at it, but it’s almost certain that there is more to come yet.