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FIRST HYBRID RANGE ROVER MODELS TACKLE EPIC ‘SILK TRAIL’

26 AUGUST 2013

Whitley, UK, August 26 2013 – To demonstrate that Land Rover’s first-ever hybrid models are indeed the world’s most capable hybrids – retaining 100 percent of the brand’s legendary capabilities – three Range Rover Hybrids set off from the UK on Thursday (August 22) to tackle a marathon 9,950 mile (16,000km) endurance drive along the ‘Silk Trail 2013’ to India.

Departing from the home of Land Rover in Solihull, England, the trio of Range Rover Hybrid vehicles undertaking the epic trip are travelling overland for more than seven weeks through Europe, Russia and Asia to Mumbai, India – arriving on October 15.

“The ‘Silk Trail 2013’ 53 days expedition will cross 13 countries and tackle some of the world’s most challenging roads, passes and trails, including part of the ancient, 4,000 mile Silk Road which connected Asia with the Mediterranean.  This event is the latest in Land Rover’s proud history of going ‘above and beyond’ the normal to subject prototype vehicles to extreme testing prior to the launch of new models,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.

The Silk Trail expedition is divided into 10 stages and is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyztan, China, Nepal and India.  The Range Rover Hybrids are being driven by teams of Land Rover development engineers and specially invited media from 10 countries in Europe and other nations along the route.

Today (Monday) the crews and vehicles are pausing in Berlin, Germany, after completing 833 miles (1,340km) of the route.  Over time, Berlin has become a symbolic meeting point between western and eastern Europe, reflecting the Silk Trail’s linking of the western world with the far east in earlier centuries.  A different media group will join the expedition tomorrow for the 1,094 mile (1,760km) Stage 2 drive to Cracow (Poland) and Odessa (Ukraine).

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

Wildly varying conditions will present the crews and vehicles with tough challenges which Land Rover confidently anticipates the new hybrid’s peerless four-wheel drive and acclaimed Terrain Response® 2 will overcome.

“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,” concluded Edwards.

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