Land Rover Sends Two Defenders To The Dakar Rally

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And they'll be totally stock standard.

Land Rover has a pretty good history when it comes to off-roading. The brand's Defender was one of the best 4x4s of the 20th century, and even the Range Rover Evoque crossover is pretty handy at tackling tricky terrain. A Range Rover also won the first-ever Dakar Rally back in 1979, so the British marque knows a thing or two about building a capable SUV. Although not competing in the 2021 edition of the iconic race, Land Rover is sending two Defenders as support vehicles, and they're completely unmodified. Land Rover certainly has a lot of faith in the latest Defender if it is sending these machines into such a harsh environment with no upgrades.

Land Rover
Land Rover

On the face of it, sending a couple of support vehicles to a rally event doesn't sound too treacherous, but the Dakar is no ordinary rally. Countless race-prepped and highly modified vehicles have fallen victim to the terrain on this course, and since these Defenders will be looking after the Prodrive team, they'll need to work quickly to keep up with its brilliant drivers. Those drivers aren't accustomed to going slowly either, as one is a two-time Dakar Rally winner in Nani Roma of Spain and the other is a rather famous French rally champion, who has won the WRC nine times: Sebastien Loeb.

Land Rover
Land Rover
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The two Defender 110 models will have to look after the team's two drivers medical crew, and other support staff across 13 days, 12 stages, and 7,646 kilometers (4,751 miles). But Jaguar Land Rover's Customer Experience Director, Finbar McFall is confident that they will do just fine: "The fact these vehicles are unmodified is testimony to the intrinsic capability and durability of our legendary 4x4, which has undergone the most demanding engineering test and development programme in our history." If Land Rover and Prodrive think that this SUV is good enough for the Dakar, then there's little reason to doubt it in the real world.

2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Front View Land Rover
2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Rear View Land Rover
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