If we were competing, it's the SUV we'd want to take along for the ride.
Earlier this year, the Aston Martin Vantage was named as the official new safety car for Formula 1. Agile and quick, it's a logical choice for the role, as was the Mercedes-AMG GT R. But what do you do when you need a support vehicle for the Red Bull X-Alps 2021, the toughest adventure race in the world? A low-riding sports car will be no good and sheer speed is less important here than ruggedness and off-road prowess.
Well, Land Rover has just announced that a fleet of Defender 110s will be doing duty as the support vehicles for the event and we can hardly think of a more capable off-roader for the job. Six-time Red Bull X-Alps winner Christian Maurer is one of seven athletes that will be supported by Land Rover.
The Red Bull X-Alps 2021 is a grueling 12-day competition where participants have to combine activities like hiking, paragliding, mountaineering, and ultra-running across five countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France. There will be no comfortable base camp along the route of over 745 miles. Instead, the Defender 110 will serve as the home-away-from-home for the athletes. That's why the 4x4 will be equipped with an Autohome roof tent.
The Defender's impressive payload of up to 1,984 pounds, its static roof load of 661 lbs (dynamic roof load is 370 lbs), and the Terrain Response 2 system will all be essential along the challenging route.
A portable rinse system, gear carriers mounted on the outside of the SUV, and integrated air compressors are other useful features that participants and medical crew will come to rely on.
"Land Rover is synonymous with endurance adventures and the Defender will play a vital role in the Red Bull X-Alps challenge," said race organizer Ulrich Grill. "Its unstoppable capability and practical cabin mean it promises to be one constant throughout the 12-day event."
For those of us who simply want a competent 4x4 but aren't interested in a 12-day adventure, the 2022 Defender is set to go on sale in the US in summer 2021. It will start at $47,700.