Only one place would be suitable for this.
Set to debut this September, the all-new and reborn Land Rover Defender is currently undergoing final testing. Though Land Rover recently said there will be both Performance and Luxury versions, the Defender’s true test is whether it can cope in extreme situations and rugged terrain. Therefore, Land Rover brought the new Defender to Kenya to work alongside the Tusk Trust lion conservation initiative. If the Defender can survive working alongside lions and the stunning yet tough African landscapes, then it’ll be fine anywhere.
A specially camouflaged Defender prototype was shipped to Kenya to be used by wildlife managers across the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy. The reserve’s terrain is full of obstacles, not just flat plains.
There are deeply rutted tracks, steep rocky inclines, muddy river banks and thick forests – all ideal for the ultimate level of final testing.
"We are now in the advanced stages of the new Defender’s testing and development phase,” said Nick Collins, Land Rover’s Vehicle Line Director. "Working with our partners at Tusk in Kenya enabled us to gather valuable performance data. The Borana reserve features a wide range of challenging environments, making it a perfect place to test to the extreme the all-terrain attributes of the new Defender.”
Land Rover has been an official partner of Tusk for the past 15 years and 2019 happens to be the Year of the Lion, which is meant to draw the world’s attention of the declining lion numbers in Africa. Fewer than 20,000 survive in the wild globally. This figure has declined from 200,000 over the last century.
The Defender prototype you see in the video above was also tasked with towing supplies in support of conservatory operations, such as fording rivers, all in order to track lions. Land Rover is counting on the new Defender to become its new bread and butter model, a role currently held by the Discovery Sport, which as of last year is the fastest-selling Land Rover in the company’s 70-year history. The 2020 Defender could very well change that.