Final engineering validation for new models or powertrains is nothing unusual, being part of the usual development process. But testing is often done on repetitive, closed-loop courses or on famous (and famously challenging) courses such as Germany's Nürburgring. But for the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover's new diesel hybrid powertrain, the company chose a much more interesting and challenging course along the ancient Silk Road.
The journey took 53 days, and traversed 13 countries from Land Rover's headquarters in Solihull, England, ending in Mumbai, India, global HQ for Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover's parent corporation. The new powertrain consists of the company's TDV6 3.0 powertrain, which is rated at 255 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. With the diesel hybrid
, that figure is supplemented with a 47-hp electric motor. Even traversing highly challenging terrain and high altitudes, the three test vehicles averaged approximately 30 mpg.
In an indication of how rigorous parts of the journey, four wheels and four windshields were damaged along the way. The vehicles and crew were also the first foreign-registered group allowed on China's Xinjiang-Tibet highway, which reaches altitudes of more than 17,000 ft.
Source: Land Rover