Author: Mike Ochonma
The Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sub-Sahara Africa continued its forays into regional markets in the continent with the launch of the Land Rover Defender AVM in Ngorongoro, Tanazania before a select group of motoring journalists including BusinessDay Nigeria.
Unveiling of the Land Rover Defender is coming barely 24 hours after the Jagaur Land Rover celebrated its 65 years of Land Rover in the Gardon, United Kingdom and test drive of the Jagaur F-Type in Pamplova Apaoim.
The journey to the formal presentation of the commemorative of few models of the Land Rover Defender numbering five units started with a departure on a Jaguar Land Rover charter flight from Nairobi, Kenya to the Ngorongoro Conservancy (via Kilimanjaro), Tanzania followed by a business session involving the sub-Sahara motoring journos and subsequent ride and drive exercise which served to bring out some of the attributes that characterised the new Defender AVM.
JLR team told our reporter that from inception, the Land Rover Defender is probably one of the most appreciated off-road vehicles out there and now the model is getting ready to become even “greener”, with the British based automaker announcing an all-terrain electric version of the popular SUV.
Generally, the Defender is one of the most instantly recognisable vehicles in the world. It is rugged reliability, exceptional off-road performance and considerable payload have made it extremely popular with both civilian and military users, and that popularity has seen it reach some of the most inaccessible regions of the planet. It is highly adaptable, too, and has been used in numerous applications.
While retaining the legendary characteristics of the standard Land Rover, the AVM range is tailored to a number of critical civilian, industrial, emergency response and security roles in which the vehicle’s strength, reliability and performance are key factors.
The AVM range differs from other post-manufacture conversions by virtue of having been engineered to the same high levels as Land Rover’s standard vehicles, giving customers the confidence they need to perform critical tasks in arduous conditions. One of the key roles over the years for the Land Rover Defender has been that of field ambulance both for the military and civilian agencies working in difficult terrain and where off-road access is required.’
While field ambulances come in all shapes and sizes with vehicles being specifically tailored to meet the needs of any particular emergency service organisation, be it paramedic at one end of the spectrum or first aid at the other, Land Rover can cater for almost any request.
Land Rover has designed two basic ambulance versions of the Defender in the AVM range, a single-stretcher variant based on the Defender 110 Station Wagon, and a twin-stretcher model that uses the Defender 130 Chassis Cab as the basis, with an ambulance box mounted behind the cab.
Additional medical equipment can be added as required by the user, and the vehicles can be fitted with sirens, loud-speakers, warning lights and radio communications. As with other AVM vehicles, a range of vehicle enhancement options caters for additional safety and arduous operation requirements.
For safety around the mining environment they are fitted with amber roof lights, reversing buzzers, top and bottom reversing lights, and a flag pole mount. The latter provides improved visibility when operating in the vicinity of larger mine vehicles. An option is a roof-mounted LED light bar that can be programmed to display signals to drivers of other vehicles.
The Defender’s payload capability allows a high level of protection to be provided without adversely affecting the vehicle’s excellent performance. Like ambulances, as CIT vehicles face many different hazards and attacks, vehicles can be designed to resist the type and level of assault that customers find within their individual operational environment. Using the Defender 130 as a basis, the CIT vehicle has an armoured driver cab that gives protection to FB4+ levels. A transparent armour system is employed to optimise outward visibility.
Meanwhile, the British based automaker Land Rover is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary and what better way to do this than by introducing a special edition of an iconic model.