Land Rover Taking On the Aussie Outback

MyDrive | Jaguar Land Rover – In a heroic feat of power and poise, the new Land Rover Discovery has taken on the task of road train in the Australian Outback .

The sight of a seven-trailer truck being pulled by an SUV sounds far-fetched – but that’s exactly what happened when Land Rover put the Discovery to the ultimate towing test.

Land Rover completed the impressive display of towing capability by pulling a 100m road train in the remote Northern Territory to announce the arrival of the 2018 model year Discovery.

The Discovery Td6 has a maximum certified towing capacity of 3,500kg on public roads* but successfully towed a 110-tonne road train 16km along a closed section of the Lasseter Highway, thanks to its 190kW 3.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel-drive traction.

Road trains of up to four trailers are only permitted in Australia’s vast Outback regions and typically carry fuel, mineral ore and cattle between remote rural communities. Strict regulations limit their length to 53.5m so Land Rover obtained special permission to pull seven trailers and the 12-tonne tractor unit – retained to operate the hydraulic brakes fitted to the trailers.

John Bilato, Managing Director of haulage specialist G&S Transport, took the wheel for the epic pull. He said: “When Land Rover first got in touch, I didn’t think the vehicle would be able to do it, so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110-tonne road train. And the smoothness of the gearchanges under that amount of load was genuinely impressive. These road trains are the most efficient form of road haulage on the planet and using the Discovery made this the most economical of all.”

The extreme test was carried out using a Discovery Td6 and is the latest in a series of impressive towing demonstrations completed by the Discovery family. At its 1989 launch, the original Discovery I was used to pull a train and last year the Discovery Sport premium compact SUV towed a trio of rail carriages 26m above the Rhine River.

Quentin Spottiswoode, Land Rover Product Engineer, said: “Towing capability has always been an important part of Discovery DNA and the raw weight of the road train tells only half the story here. Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours, hitting 44km/h along its 16km route.”
The Discovery used a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system and was hooked up to the road train using a factory-fitted tow bar attachment. The road train itself was even carrying 10-tonnes of ballast in order to hit the magic 110-tonne weight mark.

With 600Nm of torque, the Td6 is well suited to pulling heavy loads. The 190kW 3.0-litre single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation and a two-stage oil pump for improved responses, refinement and efficiency. As a result, the diesel model delivers CO2 emissions of 189g/km and fuel economy of 7.2l/100 km.

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For details on the new Land Rover, click > www.landrover.com

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