So, they say if you want to experience Africa and all its beauty i.e. places, cultures, ethnicities, you just have to take a road trip. Take a bus or get into your car and drive to your destination. When you get there, you will have stories to tell of different sceneries you have seen along the way, interesting infrastructure, and if you are lucky you might even see interesting wares that tell something about the culture of the people selling the wares.
If you are not a bus person, like most of us, you certainly have to drive. speaking about driving, Africa still has the most inhospitable terrain and drivers have to have a driving aptitude that might be second to none or have a beast of the vehicle that will thrust through the African terrain without wincing or coughing along the way.
So, What Do You Need To Manoeuvre Through The African Terrain?
The answer is simple, you will need a sleek, tender but tough beast that will not choke when the terrain becomes too harsh, a Land Rover Defender. I know I sound oxymoronic when I say a tender but tough beast, why, because the new Land Rover Defender is tender on the outlook but tough on performance.
The new Land rover defender was unveiled in Frankfurt on 10 September 2019, 3 years after Land Rover announced it was discontinuing Land Rover Defender, the British luxury cars manufacturing giant brought back the tender but tough beast and made it a whole lot better both in outlook and performance.
What Makes The Defender A Beast Fit For The African Terrain?
The SUV was made with the D7X architecture that is based on lightweight aluminum that creates a stiff body structure, in fact, the new defender body structure is 3 times stiffer that all other previous defender versions, the perfect structure for African roads, right? Unlike other off-road vehicles we know, the defender is an all-terrain vehicle that offers comfort off and on-road a perfect fit for those extra-long African journeys. It is the ultimate 4×4 that has the capacity to tow 3720 kgs, take a maximum payload of 900kgs, take static roof load of 300kgs (you can put 6x50kg bags on its roof).
According to Land Rover, the new defender is designed to excite, and any road tripper will be excited as the SUV will offer a rare combo of stellar performance and ultimate comfort. The short front and rear overhangs say a lot about its capability to climb or descend steep terrains without damaging the front bumpers.
To sweeten it all up, Land Rover equipped the new defender with Terrain Response technology that allows it to optimize traction in all conditions, so you don’t have to worry about slippery African roads because the beast is truly equipped to manoeuvre all African terrains. The functional and stylish interior has a center front jump seat, perfect for sharing adventures with the family.
We might spend the whole day speaking about the outlook of the defender, its performance is equally exciting apparently. First and foremost, the defender has the 21st-century technology. Without getting too technical and explain how its technology allows it to receive software updates like our smartphones (cool right), I will say the defender has over the air software updates technology.
The beast is fitted with electronic air suspension, off-road it can raise itself up by 145 mm, on road it can lower itself by 50 mm so that you can experience what Land Rover call an “elegant arrival”
The defender can connect to 2 smart phones at the same time and it has a lot of millennial stuff. It has cameras all over that can give you a 360-degree view of the surrounding terrain. The satellite navigator automatically cuts off when it realizes you are driving in familiar territory, it can process 21 000 network messages at once, yep 21 000.
My favorite part of the defender is the fact that you can have a third front seat, and since the driver won’t be able to use the rearview mirror if there are 3 people sitting in front, the mirror automatically turns into a screen that will be fed by the rearview camera. The defender can wade in water that is 900 millimeters deep, so much for an all-terrain vehicle.
There is so much to talk about the new Land Rover Defender, but the few we discussed clearly show that the supercomputer, supercar is fit for the inhospitable, long-distance, African journeys. The gentle beast is indeed fit for the African terrain.
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