Yes, there is such a thing as the “World Land Rover Day.”
It was April 30, 1948 when the Land Rover Series I was unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor Show. That is why every year, April 30 is for fans of the legendary off-roader the “World Land Rover Day.” The British marque put on quite a show in 2018 for the 70th anniversary and this year is even better as Land Rover has dropped some fresh images of the next-generation Defender during its lengthy and gruelling testing phase.
The prototype fleet has covered a combined 745,645 miles (1.5 million kilometres) so far and will soon undergo its final evaluation by completing field testing with the Tusk Trust in Kenya. If you haven’t heard of the Tusk Trust before, it’s a British non-profit organisation established in 1990 to protect African wildlife. One of the prototypes will have to endure some rough tests by towing heavy loads, wading through rivers and carrying cargo across what Land Rover describes as being “unforgiving terrain.”
The new Defender’s development phase includes a total of more than 45,000 individual tests organised in various parts of the world, including at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The Defender also had to endure temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the desert and as low as -40°C (-40°F) at the Arctic Circle.
The adjacent teaser images show camouflaged prototypes of the versatile SUV testing in three- and five-door flavours with short and long wheelbases, respectively. A single cab pickup truck is rumoured to be on the agenda later in the model’s life cycle as part of a vast lineup of versions to broaden the Defender’s appeal.
While Land Rover says the world premiere is scheduled for “later this year,” a recent report indicates the official debut is programmed to take place sometime in September. It’s not known at this point whether the reveal will be organised during the Frankfurt Motor Show or at a standalone event.
Gallery: 2020 Land Rover Defender testing
NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER REACHES 1.2 MILLION KILOMETRE TEST AND DEVELOPMENT MILESTONE
Milestone moment on World Land Rover Day as new Land Rover Defender prepares to undergo unique Tusk Trust test
- Ready for anything: New Defender reaches development milestone on World Land Rover Day as prototype fleet hits 1.2 million kilometre landmark
- New challenge awaits: Specially-camouflaged prototype model is preparing to embark on field-testing with global Land Rover conservation partner, Tusk Trust
- Unstoppable capability: Prototype will be put to work towing, wading and carrying supplies at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya to support vital conservation work
- Tested to the extreme: Development fleet will complete more than 45,000 individual tests in some of the world’s most inhospitable places
- World Land Rover Day: Land Rover celebrates 71 years of all-terrain expertise on 30 April – the anniversary of its original debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show
- Register your interest: The new Land Rover Defender will make its world premiere later this year but you can register your interest now at: www.landrover.co.uk
Tuesday 30 April 2019, Gaydon, UK: To celebrate World Land Rover Day, Land Rover has announced plans for the new Defender to complete a final phase of field testing with the Tusk Trust, on location in Kenya.
A Defender prototype wearing a unique camouflage will experience life at the Borana Conservancy as part of Land Rover’s 15-year partnership with Tusk Trust.
The prototype will tow heavy loads, wade through rivers and carry supplies across unforgiving terrain in a series of real-world trials at the 14,000-hectare reserve.
By the time the new Defender makes its public debut later this year, it will have passed more than 45,000 individual tests in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Land Rover engineers have taken the test fleet to the 50-degree heat of the desert, the sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, as well as up to 10,000ft altitude of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to ensure the new Defender will take everyday life in its stride, for even its most adventurous customers.
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 kilometres across all terrains and in extreme climates to ensure that it is the toughest and most capable Land Rover ever made. The incredible opportunity to put it to the test in the field, supporting operations at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya, with Tusk, will allow our engineers to verify that we are meeting this target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”
With on-road dynamics honed at the Nürburgring facility in Germany and all-terrain credentials tested on the muddy roads of Eastnor, UK, the rocky trails of Moab in Utah, and the sand dunes of Dubai, the new 4×4 promises to bring unparalleled breadth of capability and new levels of comfort and driveability to the Defender family.
The new Defender has been designed and developed in the UK, at Gaydon, home to Land Rover’s world-class design, engineering and testing facilities. The new home of global Defender production will be Land Rover’s recently opened state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.
Land Rover has been an official partner of the Tusk Trust wildlife conservation charity for 15 years, helping to reach some of the world’s most remote locations. News of the testing initiative has been announced to mark World Land Rover Day, which is celebrated on 30 April every year to mark the world premiere of the original Land Rover at the Amsterdam Motor Show on this day in 1948.