All modern vehicles today come
with a plethora of technical features that enhance driving experience
considerably. But not all customers get to understand, or use these features confidently.
That is one of the reasons why many of these top-end car manufacturers get into
an “Experience” drive to explain to their customers the finer points of the
features their cars offer.
Land Rover (part of JLR and
owned by Tata Motors) is one such company in India that has been telling its
customers about the extreme capabilities of their SUVs. The year 2016
has specially been an eventful year for the company as it has been conducting
these experience drives across several Indian cities beginning Kochi (Kerala)
in April and slowly moving up to places like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Aamby Valley
(Mumbai), Delhi, Nagpur and Ahmedabad. It would soon move on to Kolkata and
At each of these experience
drives, well trained drivers certified by Land Rover, accompany customers and
explain to them the nuances of driving in different modes and through different
difficult natural terrains, gently directing them to use the right techniques
of braking, accelerating and steering to overcome their hurdles.
When it comes to driving on
normal roads and highways and experiencing the luxury features of a car, one
really does not need to have a tutor. These experiences come naturally to the
occupants of a car. But what many are not able to comprehend is the technical
capabilities of a vehicle through some tough terrains. Even though a Land Rover
SUV is capable of overcoming all kinds of difficult obstacles---a wide ditch or
a water logged pit, or a steep incline, or sandy terrain or a rutted
patch----more often it is the driver who hesitates or gets it wrong. That’s
where these experience drives make very good common sense.
Land Rover vehicles that have
been doing the rounds in these experience drives include the Range Rover Evoque
and the New Discovery Sport. The Evoque comes in four variants and is powered
by a diesel 2179cc, while the New Discovery Sport comes in fives variants with
both diesel (2179cc) and petrol 1999cc option. Apart from the loads of comfort
features both the models offer, both have their engines mated to a 9-speed
automatic transmission and have features like hill descent control, electronic
power assisted steering, anti-lock braking system, traction control, roll
stability control and dynamic stability control, among others.
These Land Rover vehicles also
come with a feature that goes by the name of Terrain Response. This has long
been a differentiator for Land Rover vehicles. The patented system allows
drivers to select one of several modes that optimise performance on a variety
of different surfaces. Latest vehicle from the Land Rover stable now come with Terrain
Response 2 Auto which is far smarter than its predecessor.
These “Experience” drives saw
drivers use modes like Rock Crawl, General Driving, Grass, Grave & Snow,
Mud & Ruts and Sand. All one needed was to accelerate, brake and handle the
steering in the most sensible manner. The vehicle did the rest. Driving these
vehicles on the outskirts of Delhi in one of the most inhospitable terrains was
like a walk in the park.
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