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Landy training - for 11-year-olds

2013-09-27 09:42

JUNIOR DOES THE JUNGLE: Land Rover South Africa is considering putting 11-year-olds in its products and taking them off-roading. Image: Land Rover

  Gallery

Land Rover will unveil a Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept at the 2012 Geneva auto show.

Perhaps their noses can barely reach the top of the steering wheel but Land Rover UK is giving off-road driving lessons to 11-year-old in the latest Range Rover Evoque.

And the good news is that Land Rover SA says such training "is something we are considering introducing here in South Africa in 2014 through our Land Rover Experience Centres". Go, Landy!

So, how about having young Thabo or Hennie driving the family Landy through the Okavango next time - or across the Namib to the coast? He might only be 11 but, if you're off-road, does that matter?

Sound implausible? Not if he (or she) is 11-17 and has been on a new pilot scheme being run by Land Rover in the UK...

STRONG FOUNDATION

‘Start Off-Road’ gives youngsters the opportunity to get ahead of the game from behind the wheel of a Range Rover Evoque, their driving lessons including climbing and descending hills, negotiating ditches and ridges and water crossings.

Not only do the youngsters learn to control a 4x4 car; Land Rover says the training helps them to develop a strong foundation of driving skills for future legally on-road years

The scheme allows 11 to 17-year-olds to get behind the wheel of a Range Rover Evoque and experience true off-road driving, teaching them skills and techniques they will go on to use throughout their years on and off-road.

Participants will experience driving techniques such as steering, braking and reversing, as well as more advanced skills such as climbing and descending hills, crossing ditches and ridges, negotiating ruts, wet grass and mud, and even fording water.

PERSONAL LOGBOOK

Land Rover says: "Statistics show that younger drivers pick up new skills easier and are more open to learning good driving habits. By instilling the basics in them at an early stage it is hoped that they'll gain invaluable experience for later in life.

"Each student receives a personalised logbook to record their progress so that, when they come again – to the same venue or a different one elsewhere in the UK – they pick up where they left off."

As well as providing the youngsters with invaluable skills the course is unique in offering them experience of the Range Rover Evoque, "lauded for both its off-road and on-road ability".

Each Evoque is fitted with dual controls and an auto gearbox and the learners are accommpanied by an instructor through every scenario. Parents can also take part in the activity.

CONFIDENCE-GIVING

David Saunders, the UK general manager of Land Rover Experience, commented: “The Land Rover Start Off-Road programme is designed to offer youngsters something unique that they wouldn’t usually be able to experience.

"Not only is it a fun day out but it also teaches driving skills to youngsters even before they can even get a driving licence. It helps to instill confidence in them, gives them a head start and should help them to become proficient drivers."
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