Land Rover is relentless in its hyping up of the next-generation Defender, and in this new series of preview shots and footage, the British firm called in representatives from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to have them observe and evaluate the new off-roader’s abilities first hand.
The pre-production Defender, which wears the same not-so-concealing urban camo wrap, was let loose in the dunes around Dubai, home of the IFRC’s global fleet base, flinging sand as it’s all-wheel drive system negotiated the tricky terrain and surface conditions.
The closed session test coincided with the 65th anniversary of the long-standing partnership between the IFRC and Land Rover (back when it was under the Rover umbrella), one that began in 1954 which has since seen the widespread use of the Series I and Series II as first response vehicles and mobile dispensaries.
Ilir 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.”
More disaster preparedness and response initiatives will be conducted over the next 3 years in locations such as India, Mexico, and Australia, with Land Rover vehicles involved in some way or another. By then, of course, the all-new generation Defender would have been ready for service. Hence, them getting to sample it before its international reveal.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Product Engineering, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the work of the IFRC. Since 1954 our vehicles have enabled access to remote and vulnerable communities, helping them become more resilient, and we hope the new Defender will maintain this heritage.”
“The dunes of Dubai are the perfect place to confirm that this is the most capable Land Rover ever made. It sits on tyres with an overall diameter of up to 815mm, resulting in a very large contact patch. Coupled with our bespoke traction control system, which monitors and adjusts for a large variety of terrains, this makes the new Defender fantastic on sand and incredibly smooth on road as well.”
Jaguar Land-Rover expects pre-production testing to wrap up very soon as the ‘later this year’ launch window is given a firm date. Reportedly, it will make its first public appearance in full at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.