Range Rover Hybrid starts the 9,950-mile ‘Silk Trail 2013’ endurance test

Article by Anita Panait, on September 1, 2013

Land Rover is having its Range Rover Hybrid undergo a final engineering sign-off drive that will cover around 9,950 miles. This endurance test -- dubbed as Silk Trail 2013 -- is out to prove that the new Range Rover Hybrid is the most capable hybrid vehicle in the world.

The Range Rover Hybrid started from Land Rover's base in Solihull, United Kingdom on August 22, 2013, and is set to travel overland for over seven weeks through Europe, Russia and Asia.

The Range Rover Hybrid is bound to arrive at Mumbai, India on October 15, 2013. The Silk Trail is a historically important international trade route between China and Mediterranean, extending 4,000 miles (6,437km). The Silk Trail got its name from the Chinese silk trade that was conducted on the route.

Range Rover Hybrid's Silk Trail expedition is comprised of 10 stages, with the route covering France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal and India. A group of Range Rover Hybrids are being piloted by teams of Land Rover development engineers as well as invited media from 10 countries in Europe and other nations along the route.

As of Monday, August 26, the Range Rover Hybrids have completed 833 miles (1,340km) of the route after arriving in Berlin, Germany, where they took a pause.

Berlin is considered as a symbolic meeting point between western and eastern Europe, reflecting the Silk Trail’s connecting of the western world with the far east. The Range Rover Hybrids left Berlin on Wednesday for the 1,094-mile (1,760km) Stage 2 drive to Cracow, Poland and Odessa, Ukraine.

Already seen as lavish, the interior of the new Range Rover also comes with a character that is both pure and contemporary. While it continues to have those unique design cues Range Rover is known for, the treatment is made more modern and more importantly, fresh. The cabin for instance continues to have the well-known architectural and strong forms.

However, these same forms are highlighted by the elegant and clean surfaces made possible by the flawless implementation of the best veneers and the finest of leathers. The rear compartment now has more comfort and even delivers more space especially with legroom increased by at least 118 mm. Further, the company is giving customers the option to avail of the new two-seat seating package known as the Executive Class and is guaranteed to be the best with it comes to luxury in the rear seat.

Since the company wants customers to have their very own perfect bespoke vehicle, the already distinct luxury atmosphere of the can be customized through the different choices involving colors, finishes, and even special details. There is for instance the exclusive Autobiography series with its color-themed and perfectly-trimmed interiors. Changes can even include the wide array of alloy wheels with diameter measuring by as much as 22 inches.

Looking at the exterior, the new Land Rover Range Rover reveals an elegant and clean shape resulting in an entirely new interpretation of the well-known design cues. Thus, while this new version is indeed immediately identifiable as a Range Rover, it takes that important step forward to evolving the long iconic design language.

With overall length not exceeding 5 meters and under the access mode, a roofline that is lower by 20 mm, it has a profile that is more streamlined and smoother while remaining to have a footprint much like a previous model. In addition, this is considered as the most aerodynamic version with drag coefficient at 0.34.

Press Release

First Range Rover Hybrid Models Take On Epic 'Silk Trail' To India

Demonstrating Land Rover's legendary capability, its latest model, the Range Rover Hybrid is being put through its final engineering sign-off drive on a gruelling 9,950 mile endurance expedition.
The test, proving the new Range Rover Hybrid as the world's most capable hybrid, set off from the home of Land Rover in Solihull, UK on August 22 and will travel overland for more than seven weeks through Europe, Russia and Asia to Mumbai, India - arriving on October 15.

The Silk Trail is a historical network of interlinking trade routes which connected East, South and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world. Extending 4,000 miles (6,437km), the Silk Trail gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade which was carried out along its length and became a significant factor in the development of the civilisations in Asia & Europe from 206BC until the late 14th Century.

Silk Trail 2013 Expedition Leader, Dougie Dale said: "We are delighted with progress so far, but the European leg is the easy part with good road networks - this has allowed us to use the Hybrid system to great effect predominantly in urban areas. As the expedition heads towards Eastern Europe and beyond over the next week, we expect the terrain to toughen and we will really start to use the Range Rover Hybrid's uncompromised capability."

The Silk Trail expedition is divided into 10 stages and is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal and India. The Range Rover Hybrids are being driven by teams of Land Rover development engineers and specially invited media from 10 countries in Europe and other nations along the route.

"The 53 day expedition will cross 12 countries and tackle some of the world's most challenging roads, passes and trails, including part of the ancient, 4,000 mile Silk Road which connected Asia with the Mediterranean. This event is the latest in Land Rover's proud history of going 'above and beyond'" said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.

On Monday 26th August the crews and vehicles paused in Berlin, Germany, after completing 833 miles (1,340km) of the route. Over time, Berlin has become a symbolic meeting point between western and eastern Europe, reflecting the Silk Trail's linking of the western world with the far east in earlier centuries. The 1,094 mile (1,760km) Stage 2 drive to Cracow (Poland) and Odessa (Ukraine) starts Wednesday 28thAugust.

"A stunning combination of mountain passes, arid desert, high altitude, chaotic city streets, heat, humidity and wilderness will provide the perfect testing ground for our first hybrid. Our engineers are using this adventure as the final development drive before the official sign-off for series production later this year," added Edwards.

Wildly varying conditions will present the crews and vehicles with tough challenges which Land Rover confidently anticipates the new hybrid's peerless four-wheel drive and acclaimed Terrain Response® 2 will overcome.

"Land Rover has been exploring the planet since the debut of its first model in 1948. With the new Range Rover Hybrid, the world's first premium diesel SUV hybrid, combining significantly lower CO2 emissions with uncompromised performance, the Silk Trail 2013 expedition expresses Land Rover's commitment to its vehicles as well as to the environment," concluded Edwards.

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