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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Land Rover Experience

"Land Rover Experience" is one of the unique concept driven by "Land Rover" company during which customers get a chance to experience the real power of Land rovers in off road conditions, which generally not possible in normal test drives. I'm very passionate about Land Rovers since child hood and always wanted to experience this beast. I never expected that I will be part of this event and I should thank Harish of BlogAdda for giving me this wonderful opportunity, it was like my dream come true.

Even though my appointment was at 11 AM, out of excitement, I started early from my home and reached Novotel Airport hotel by 9.30 AM. I felt very tired because of the 50 km of long drive, that too on Saturday morning, but the first glimpse of 7 land rovers parked in the hotel premises made me so happy. I parked my car and went towards the registration, which is located inside the hotel. The staff was very helpful and explained me every thing about the event. Since I have around 1.5 hrs of free time, I spent my time taking pics of the beautiful beasts.

Out of all land rovers parked, there is one car, which left me awestruck, that is Red Range Rover Evoque. It has everything you could want, tough body, sexy looks, style and obviously powerful engine. I really couldn't stop taking pics of these beauties. Apart from free lander and evoque, another car that drew the attention of every one was the Range rover sports edition. I have never seen any car that is mightier than range rover sport.

While I was taking pictures of the beauties, another blogger Amit Bhawani along with his friend varun joined me, who are going to accompany me for the off road drive. For every "LandRoverExperience" event, two local bloggers will be selected to take part in the event and those two lucky people will get a chance to experience the mighty land rovers in action. 

We were asked to sit in a meeting room and there were around 8 people who registered for the 11 AM drive. After formal intro about the Land Rover brand, they started explaining key features of the topper of the show - Free Lander 2. 

Key Features includes:

'Hill Descent Control' : HDC operates with the traction control and ABS system to give you a controlled descent down that muddy, steep hill with out even pressing the brakes, you just have steer the vehicle. 

'Terrain Response System': Depending upon the surface beneath, you can choose among the five settings available, based on which locking actions, traction & stability control, shift schedule of the transmission will be controlled. 
-> general mode, for everyday driving
-> grass/gravel/snow
-> mud and ruts
-> sand
-> rock crawl
For each setting, Terrain Response adjusts the aforementioned components to perform best for each driving condition.

'Dynamic Stability Control': In case of Over steer or Under steer,  this feature ensures the stability of the vehicle.

Some of the Key Specs about the Free Lander 2:

Engine Displacement: 2179 CC
BHP: 187.74bhp@3500rpm
Torque: 420Nm@1750rpm
Top Speed: 190 km in 9.5 seconds
Drive Type: AWD
Ground Clearance: 210mm
Wading Depth: 500mm

After the intro session, they assigned the instructors to everyone and now all set ready for the hands on. I was assigned a white free lander. My instructor explained me about the controls present in the dashboard, how to use them and when to use them, about top speed and also about the track. The central dashboard has all the controls like the Changing the Terrain response system modes,  Air conditioning and a display screen. Apart from these controls, few control are placed on the steering like infotainment, phone connectivity. 

Land Rover team had created a big temporary off road track which has water bodies, steep climb and steep descent, rocky patches and grassy path. Off Road experience started with the steep climb, where instructor demonstrated the feature gradient release control, which ensures the smooth hill starts whether ascending or descending. Also the feature, 'Hill Start Assist', allows the driver to have enough time to move the foot from brake to accelerator, with out vehicle roll back. 

Next we went through many uneven paths, rocky patches, during which the instructor explained us about the stability and rigid suspension of the vehicle. Irrespective of the surface beneath, Front and Rear Coil Sprung Independent Suspension ensures a smooth ride.

I have seen so many pictures and videos of the land rovers driving through the deep waters, but never experienced directly. Now the chance has come and the experience was exhilarating. There was a small water body filled with mud and free lander was able to confront it very easily. Free lander was able to manage this water body without skidding and AWD capabilities ensured that the vehicle wont struck in the mud.

One of the highlight of the event was the steep descent, which was like a roller coaster ride. When my instructor stopped near the edge of the slope, I was in an impression that he might be backing up, but after few seconds, when he asked us "Shall we go further??", I was blanked out. I'm unable to see any path from the vehicle. Even though the path was dusty, steep and sliding, free lander did an awesome job and its control, stability on these paths blew me away. And the best thing is that, instructor didn't applied any breaks during the descent. It was Hill Descent control feature that applied breaks constantly and controlled the vehicles.

After an hour of off road experience, we returned to the hotel and every one started sharing their drive experiences with others. It was truly a memorable experience for me to closely observe full capabilities of my favorite land rover in action and that too in off road condition. Kudos to the land rover team for organizing this event and looking for more these kind of events in Hyderabad.

That's all about my memorable experience with Land Rover. Thanks (Harish) for giving me this wonderful opportunity to experience the mighty Land Rover family. 

Unknown / Author & Editor

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