The Land Rover Silk Trail 2013 was concluded with the arrival of 3 Range Rover Diesel Hybrid prototypes in Mumbai, India. The hybrid SUVs travelled from Solihull, United Kingdom to Mumbai, India for 53 days passing 13 countries in the journey. This expedition is the first ever hybrid expedition along the Silk Trail, and one of the boldest done by Land Rover.
The drivers and the vehicles encountered different challenges in the expedition. The hostile conditions included roads with numerous deep potholes, dusty desert trails, 43o C heat, and different surfaces. The Range Rovers also had to cross rivers, pass dangerous mountainsides, and withstand high altitudes. Drivers, likewise, were tested with the dense and erratic traffic in China and India.
The expedition started in Solihull, United Kingdom. From there, the expedition proceeded through the following countries using the Silk Road: France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal, and India. It created a different experience for the participants as this route was the same one used by traders over 2,500 years ago.
The Silk Trail 2013 expedition is the final validation test for the Range Rover Hybrid before its production is approved. After the journey, the vehicles’s fuel consumption ranged from 12.7 km/l to 13.1 km/l.
“In developing the hybrid-powered Range Rover, our objective was to gain hybrid’s fuel economy and carbon emissions advantages without compromising the Range Rover’s go-anywhere capabilities, its cabin space or its refinement. The success of this remarkable expedition clearly demonstrates we have achieved that,” said Peter Richings, Jaguar Land Rover Hybrids and Electrification Director.