Land Rover Defender

Over the decades the Land Rover Defender has secured iconic status as one of the toughest, go-anywhere vehicles on our planet.

First launched back in 1948, the car was predominantly hand-built in the UK but the final model rolled off the production line in 2016.

However Land Rover always maintained a new-look Defender would be launched and it’s now due to complete a final phase of field testing with the Tusk Trust, on location in Kenya.

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

A Defender prototype wearing a unique camouflage will experience life at the Borana Conservancy as part of Land Rover’s 15-year partnership with the 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 takes its public bow later this year, it will have undergone 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 sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, the 50-degree heat of the desert, 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 4x4 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. But unlike, its predecessors, 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.