A debut is finally coming next month.

It’s probably safe to say the testing program of the next-generation Land Rover Defender is one of the toughest we’ve seen in the last few years. We’ve witnessed the rugged, boxy SUV winter testing, going into deep mud, stretching its legs at the Nurburgring, and even visiting Kenya for a series of serious hurdles. Now, the latest stage of the test cycle sends the new Defender to Dubai.

If you wonder why exactly there, it's because that’s where the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) global fleet base is located. The experts from the organizations were given the chance to explore pre-production prototypes of the model on and off-road. Sand dunes, tarmac, and sharp mountain turns were part of the test route.

Gallery: 2020 Land Rover Defender Testing with Red Cross experts

Coincidentally, the Dubai test marks the 65th year since the beginning of the cooperation between Land Rover and IFRC. The global partnership has been renewed and over the next three years, the British manufacturer will support disaster preparedness and response initiatives in locations including India, Mexico, and Australia.

“The Red Cross supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every country in the world,” Ilir Caushaj, IFRC’s Team Lead for Global Fleets and Logistics, commented. “We operate in some of the most hard-to-reach places on earth, often working in very difficult terrain, so our teams have to be able to cope with anything. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with Land Rover since 1954, and to be putting their new Defender to the test.”

Land Rover says prototypes of the new Defender have already covered more than 1.2 million kilometers (more than 745,000 miles) of testing. The previous step of the model’s test program was during this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the Defender made a dynamic appearance. The off-road legend will be resurrected during the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show with additional versions joining the range next year.

Source: Land Rover

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  • Expert know-how: Land Rover visits the 4x4 experts at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) global fleet base in Dubai on the next step in the new Defender’s testing programme
  • Breadth of capability: New Defender tackles the region’s famous sand dunes and the hairpins of the renowned Jebel Jais highway, which winds its way up the tallest mountain in the UAE
  • Renewed relationship: Land Rover and the IFRC have agreed a new three-year global partnership to focus on disaster preparedness and response initiatives
  • Established partners: Land Rover has supported the IFRC since 1954 and is proud to work with the world’s largest humanitarian organisation in its centenary year
  • See the Defender testing: https://youtu.be/_9l0DbNgl2g

The new Land Rover Defender has been put through its paces under the watchful eye of all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the latest stage of its global testing programme. The prototype vehicle visited the IFRC global fleet base in Dubai, ahead of its public debut later this year.

Land Rover engineers demonstrated the vehicle’s breadth of capability to their IFRC counterparts both on and off road, before the IFRC fleet experts took to the wheel to test the vehicle for themselves on the region’s desert sand dunes and the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway, experiencing the assured handling and comfort of the new 4x4 as they wound their way up the tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates.

The Red Cross supports millions of people in crisis every year, working in almost every country in the world. We operate in some of the most hard-to-reach places on earth, often working in very difficult terrain, so our teams have to be able to cope with anything. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with Land Rover since 1954, and to be putting their new Defender to the test, as together they help us reach vulnerable communities in crisis, whoever and wherever in the world they are.

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to support the work of the IFRC. Since 1954 our vehicles have enabled access to remote and vulnerable communities, helping them become more resilient, and we hope the new Defender will maintain this heritage. The dunes of Dubai are the perfect place to confirm that this is the most capable Land Rover ever made. It sits on tyres with an overall diameter of up to 815mm, resulting in a very large contact patch. Coupled with our bespoke traction control system, which monitors and adjusts for a large variety of terrains, this makes the new Defender fantastic on sand and incredibly smooth on road as well.

The test, which gave IFRC fleet experts the opportunity to experience the new Defender ahead of its world premiere, is the latest step in the new Defender’s development programme. So far, prototype models have covered more than 1.2 million kilometres of testing, including a week-long initiative with wildlife conservation charity Tusk, in Kenya, and a dynamic appearance on the famous hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.