new Land Rover Defender has been put through its paces under the watchful eye
of all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC)in the latest stage of its global testing programme.
The prototype vehicle visited the IFRC global fleet base in Dubai, ahead of its
public debut later this year.
Rover engineers demonstrated the vehicle’s breadth of capability to their IFRC
counterparts both on and off road, before the IFRC fleet experts took to the
wheel to test the vehicle for themselves on the region’s desert sand dunes and
the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway, experiencing the assured handling and
comfort of the new 4x4 as they wound their way up the tallest mountain in the
United Arab Emirates.
test in Dubai coincides with the renewal of Land Rover’s global partnership
with the IFRC¬– a relationship that dates back 65 years, to 1954, when the
first specially adapted Land Rover entered service in the region as a mobile
dispensary. This year marks the humanitarian organisation’s centenary as it
celebrates ‘100 Years of Hope’. Over the next three years, Land Rover will
support disaster preparedness and response initiatives in locations including
India, Mexico and Australia.
Caushaj, IFRC’s Team Lead for Global Fleets and Logistics, said: “The Red Cross
supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every
country in the world. We operate in some of the most hard-to-reach places on
earth, often working in very difficult terrain, so our teams have to be able to
cope with anything. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with Land Rover
since 1954, and to be putting their new Defender to the test, as together they
help us reach vulnerable communities in crisis, whoever and wherever in the
world they are.”
IFRC fleet experts tested the Defender in soft sand among the rolling dunes of
the desert, where the prototype model shrugged off the steep ascents, demanding
side slopes and blind crests that characterise off-road driving in the region.
With temperatures in excess of 40-degrees, the iconic hairpins of the Jebel
Jais highway were the next destination, as the Defender demonstrated its
on-road comfort and agile handling, scaling altitudes of nearly 2000m.
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