The words “Land Rover” are synonymous to adventure. Vehicles with the Land Rover badge are designed to be rugged and to last long on the broken path. In fact, the Series 1 model is still being used to ferry people in a rural location deep in the Himalayas. Known as The Land of Land Rover, Maneybhanjang-Sandakphu is home to the Series 1 Land Rovers since 1958. In fact, the village has vehicles that date back to 1958. Such is the beauty of the British engineering that drives the Land Rovers.
Our challenges were far smaller than the drivers of Land Rovers who cover the 31 km journey from Maneybhanjang to Sandakphu every day.
‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ prepares customers to understand the true capability of Land Rover vehicles. From flooded roads to slushy conditions, un-motorable and potholed roads, ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ prepares the owners for such challenges by giving them an opportunity to drive a Land Rover over a naturally set terrain, thus making the whole experience extremely relevant, authentic and engaging.
A few months ago, I got an opportunity to drive not one but nine Jaguar cars at a circuit in Mumbai. It was a great experience as I got to test both, the speed and the braking system of these cars. But the Land Rover drive was a completely different league. I was invited to test the Range Rover Evoque on a specially designed track at Aamby Valley. It wasn’t on tarmac which I am used. Instead, it involved driving on muddy surfaces, steep inclines to challenging descends and the tough terrains.
The tour started with a good 20 min briefing explaining the features of the cars and the track that we had to drive. One instructor sat in the passenger seat to guide us through the track and the offer more information about the unique features of the Range Rover Evoque.
The SUV features a 2-litre diesel engine that is paired to a 9-speed AT transmission (sadly though, I could not use to much). The engine on the 4-wheel drive SUV delivers 180 bhp of maximum power and 340 Nm of peak torque. While it’s properly rugged on the outside, features like Windsor leather steering wheel with audio controls add to the luxury quotient of the SUV. There were three different options to choose during the drive for Terrain response –
Grass, Gravel and Snow
Mud and Ruts
The drive system was engaged in Grass-gravel and the mud and ruts mode throughout the 90 min journey.
The tour concluded with certificates to the participants after completing the challenging course. As I head back to the concrete jungle, I bring back many memories from the drive that would be etched into my mind for a very long time. The price range of the Range Rover Evoque models costs between INR 52 lakh and INR 70 lakh.