Land Rover, a company already revered for building tough SUVs that are capable of tackling vehicle-destroying terrain has proven their mettle yet again. Three Range Rover Diesel Hybrids have taken on and conquered the ancient Silk Route, an arduous 2,500 year old, 10,500 mile trail that connects Europe and Asia. The sojourn took the convoy of the three Range Rover Hybrids and four support cars across 13 countries spread across in 2 continents.
This incredible journey started in Solihull in the UK, home of Land Rover and traversed across a whole gamut of roads and conditions – heavily potholed asphalt roads, desert tracks that kicked up choking clouds of dust, deep mud and gravel. Temperatures ranged from a freezing -10 degrees Celsius in the mountains to a searing 43 degrees Celsius in the deserts. Altitudes of 5,500 metres were encountered with air that was so thin that the crew faced altitude sickness. The cars also struggled because internal combustion engines require a certain amount of air to function properly and at such high altitudes, there just isn’t enough; causing the huge 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel engines to lose a significant amount of their power.
Nevertheless, despite the ruthless terrain, mechanical worries and tortuous conditions faced by both man and machine, and having crossed France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tibet and Nepal, the Range Rovers arrived in Mumbai, India a staggering 53 days after they set out on their epic voyage.