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As the official automotive sponsor of Thredbo Alpine Resort, it’s not surprising that you can spot a Land Rover or two powering around the bends of Mount Kosciusko National Park. For the past year Land Rover have been running a drive experience program with the New Defender, to give visitors of Thredbo a taste of what these vehicles are capable of. Tony Davis of the Australian Financial Review joined Land Rover Experience over the Easter break to see what all the fuss was about and learn more about the capabilities of the toughest, most purposeful machine in the Land Rover stable.

Driving the Defender 110 P400 along the spectacular Alpine Way, after heading off from Sydney, Davis said the vehicle “immediately identified itself as a superbly refined and comfortable tourer.” Once off-road, Davis discovered a car that was “sure-footed and rode flat through the twists and turns, punching out of corners with gusto despite its considerable heft”.

LITTLE DRAMA TACKLING ALL TERRAINS

Advised by the Land Rover instructor to aim for the potholes and the worst bits of the road, Davis told his passengers to expect a noisy and bumpy ride. “It seems,” he said, “I lied. Despite meticulously following the instructions, pushing the Defender fast and hard into sizeable potholes and sending plumes of water and mud over the car and across the windscreen, there was remarkably little drama.”

Manoeuvering the Defender up a steep, muddy hill covered in deep holes, Davis found the low-speed off-road cruise control maintained a smooth speed while the electronics constantly optimised the wheel speed at each corner. The car’s cameras showed what lay ahead, while the screen graphics displayed the angles, altitude, and diff lockings and unlockings, among many other useful pieces of information.

A VERY WORTHY SUCCESSOR

If there was any disappointment for Davis, it was that the route barely touched the edges of the vehicle’s capabilities. John Eggenhuizen, who manages Land Rover Experience in Australia, explained Thredbo is tailored for people keen to learn about the vehicle and is a “pretty mild program”. For those after something more extreme, there are other Experience offerings in the pipeline which will provide “more than enough to get the adrenaline running”. Eggenhuizen has taken all Land Rover models to their limits and when it comes to off-road he says the Defender is “much better and stronger...it’s a quantum leap ahead of the old Defender, a very worthy successor”.

Stay tuned for the next Land Rover Experience at Thredbo in September.

© JAGUAR LAND ROVER LIMITED 2021

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

Smart settings available from mid-2021.

Important note on imagery & specification. We are living through exceptional times. Due to the Covid pandemic we have been prevented or delayed in the creation of new images of current model years. Now the global impact of micro-chip shortages is further affecting build specifications, options and launch timings. Until this unique event settles, please note that many images cannot be updated to 22 model year specifications. Features, options, trim and colour schemes will differ from many images. Customers are urged to consult your local Retailer for detailed 22 model year specifications and do not base an order on marketing imagery and specification alone.

Jaguar Land Rover Limited is constantly seeking ways to improve the specification, design and production of its vehicles, parts and accessories and alterations take place continually, and we reserve the right to change without notice. Some features may vary between optional and standard for different model years. The information, specification, engines and colours on this website are based on European specification and may vary from market to market and are subject to change without notice. Some vehicles are shown with optional equipment and retailer-fit accessories that may not be available in all markets. Please contact your local retailer for local availability and prices.

‡‡Price shown is the manufacturers recommended drive-away prices (MRDP) which applies to the vehicle model and optional features selected in the vehicle configurator and as described in the configuration summary. The MRDP is an estimated price which includes the manufacturer's recommended list price, any associated registration fees, applicable taxes (including GST), levies and CTP insurances at the time of publishing in accordance with the applicable state / territory legislation where the Retailer is located for a 12 month period. The MRDP may vary as a result of differences in price components such as location, stamp duty or registration fees. CTP rate is based on a private owner aged 40 with 0 demerit points, no accidents or driving convictions and the vehicle being garaged in the postcode entered. Some information presented or used in the MRDP calculation is sourced from third parties. Jaguar Land Rover Australia has made every effort to ensure accuracy, however please contact your preferred Jaguar Land Rover Retailer to confirm your actual drive-away price which may vary according to your individual circumstances, including any trade-in value agreed between you and the Retailer. Excludes fleet, government, rental buyers, hire car and chauffeur companies.