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Full marks for Land Rover

Friday, February 28, 2014    

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KNOWN for its uncompromising on- and off-road capabilites fused with luxury, several Land Rover models were put to the test on an obstacle course in Barbican Park, St Andrew, last week. They all passed with flying colours.

Hosted by authorised dealer, ATL Automotive, the event was dubbed Land Rover Experience.

"The event was a success and an awesome experience for all involved," said David Hasting, Land Rover brand manager.

The Barbican Park was transformed into an off-road playground designed to put the 4X4 prowess of the Land Rover models on display for the media and guests.

With nine obstacles, several of which would have stopped the average SUV, guests could choose one of five models starting from the high-spec Range Rover Sport to the Defender.

Once the choice was made, guests were shuttled around the course to experience the world-famous Land Rover off-road ability testing every major aspect of the vehicles, from their inherent skills to the marvellous off-road electronics systems — many automated — that carried passenger after passenger flawlessly over rocks, through deep water, and over holes that would terrify any road user.

The highlight was a six-metre hill climb with a sky-facing 40-degree approach and equally thrilling descent. The King Ramp, as it was called, was not only tackled forward but had both passengers and spectators in awe when it was easily successfully achieved in reverse.

"The event had people looking differently at the capabilities of Land Rovers, as its layout put the vehicles through what no local road could possibly do," said Hastings.

With 60 years of off-road technology under its belt, the event proved that no matter how luxurious the models have become, the ability to tackle rough terrain is a core value of the brand. This was all the more apparent when driven in the Defender by Steven James, Land Rover master technician.

In the face of its younger brothers, the Discovery 4, Freelander 2, Range Rover Evoque and Sport, it may have looked to be disadvantaged. And it was in the refinement department, clearly showing its quaint British heritage. However, on the course it was able to match them obstacle for obstacle.

Between scheduled rides, guests could relax and wait in the provided air-conditioned tent, with refreshments available. Several financial institutions were on hand to help any potential buyers drive away with the Land Rover of their dreams.

"We had not one dissatisfied participant, and The Land Rover Experience had an impact pulling several potential clients off the fence about what luxury SUV would grace their garage," Hastings added.

— Rory Daley

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