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Hybrid Rover's epic Silk Trail trek

2013-08-30 08:59

TAKING ON THE SILK TRAIL: The Range Rover Hybrid, the world’s first premium diesel-hybrid SUV, is out to make a name for itself by embarking on a 53-day expedition along the ancient Silk Trail. Image: Land Rover

Demonstrating that its latest model, the Range Rover Hybrid, still boasts Land Rover’s legendary capability, the greenest Range Rover yet is undertaking a gruelling 16 000km journey from England via China to India.

WHITLEY, England – The Silk Trail 2013 Expedition saw the a trio of hybrid Range Rovers set off from the home of Land Rover in Solihull, central England on August 22. The hybrids are being driven by teams of Land Rover engineers and journalists.

The group will travel overland for more than seven weeks through Europe, Russia and Asia to Mumbai, India - arriving on October 15 2013.

ENGLAND TO INDIA JOURNEY

They will follow what historically was called the Silk Road, a historical network of interlinking trade routes which connected east, south and western Asia with Europe.

the 6500 route got its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade which was carried out along its length and became a significant factor in the development of the civilisations in Asia and Europe from 206BC until the late 14th Century.

Silk Trail 2013 Expedition leader Dougie Dale said: “We're delighted by our progress so far but the European leg is the easy part with good roads – this has allowed us to use the hybrid system to great effect in urban areas. As the expedition heads towards Eastern Europe and beyond we expect the terrain to toughen and we will really start to use the Range Rover Hybrid’s uncompromised capability.”

53-DAY EXPEDITION

The expedition has been divided into 10 stages and is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal and India. 

Land Rover global brand director John Edwards said: “The 53-day expedition will cross 12 countries and tackle some of the world’s most challenging roads, passes and trails, including part of the ancient, 6500km Silk Road which connected Asia with the Mediterranean.  This event is the latest in Land Rover’s proud history of going above and beyond.” 

On August 26 2013 crews and vehicles paused in Berlin, Germany, after completing 1340km. The Stage 2 drive to Cracow, Poland and Odessa, Ukraine, covering 1760km, began on August 28 2013.

FIRST PREMIUM DIESEL-HYBRID SUV

Edwards said:  “A stunning combination of mountain passes, arid desert, high altitude, chaotic city streets, heat, humidity and wilderness will provide the perfect test route for our first hybrid. Our engineers are using this adventure as the final development drive before the official sign-off for series production later in 2013.”

Wildly varying conditions will present the crews and vehicles with tough challenges which Land Rover anticipates its new hybrid’s four-wheel drive and terrain response will overcome.

Edwards said: “Land Rover has been exploring the planet since the debut of its first model in 1948.  With the new Range Rover Hybrid, the world’s first premium diesel SUV hybrid, combining significantly lower CO2 emissions with uncompromised performance, the Silk Trail 2013 expedition expresses Land Rover’s commitment to its vehicles as well as to the environment.”


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