A few days ago, I was privileged to be part of a select set of guests to attend the Land Rover Experience, organised by Jaguar Land Rover India at Aamby Valley City.
In case you’re wondering if the Land Rover Experience is just another event to test drive a car, you are mistaken.
This initiative has been conceptualised by the British car manufacturer to bring together customers and specialists with one primary objective — off-roading.
The Land Rover Experience invites existing customers, owners of Land Rover vehicles to come to an off-roading terrain, like the stunning circuit at Aamby Valley, and have a one-hour long off-roading session in a vehicle, with a an off-roading specialist. I got chatting informally with Akshat Arora, part of JLR’s Marketing team who explained to me that this was an ideal platform to showcase the off-roading capabilities of Land Rover’s range in India. So if you’re a Land Rover owner, chances are, in all probability, you’re driving your car to and from work, on city roads. The DNA of Land Rover is to be able to take on difficult terrain and it is engineered to perform under these conditions. Through an event like this, customers can actually learn about what their car is capable of so it really empowers drivers to push their vehicles to the limits and get to know it better. In many ways, the Land Rover Experience is a way to bring together carmaker and customer, in an interactive and engaging fashion.
While the drive slots were largely filled up by privileged customers (and some potential customers, I am told), I was also given a slot to test drive the car.
Upon arrival into Aamby Valley, I grabbed a quick coffee and then it was time for a quick briefing with the Land Rover team. We were briefed about the off-road circuit that we were about to take on.
I was lucky enough to get the brand new Range Rover Evoque, in the company of Abel, an adventure sports professional who turned out to be the best off-roading guide and instructor ever.
While not much is left to be said about the exceptional interiors and comfort features of any of LR’s vehicles, what impressed me most about my white Evoque was its slick design and comfy interiors. The Evoque is visibly more compact than the other vehicles from the brand but retains the same design cues. The plush leather interiors and the aluminium trim details enhance the experience.
Soon, we were on our way. My instructor was quick to show me, what would be my favourite drive feature in the automatic car, the Hill Descent Control Mode. Once switched on, you basically take your foot off the pedals while going downhill and let the car take control of the speed and braking. At first, it felt a bit strange to let go of all control of the car and let if “drive itself’ but I got used to it after a while.
In the meanwhile, I made it a point to flood the cabin with natural light using the panoramic roof.
The next thing I tried was the Terrain Response modes, which optimise the vehicle’s engine transmission and systems to maximise driveability and traction depending on the terrtain. The four modes that I was alternating between were: General Driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud & Ruts and Sand. The difference between each mode is tremendous and instantly palpable as you drive.
Another fun feature that I tried out was the Gradient Release control which is similar to Hill Assist. It basically prevents the car from rolling backwards on an uphill climb. The system automatically holds the brake for three seconds before gradually deactivating itself, giving you enough time to accelerate.
It was such a great and exhilarating experience to be blazing the different terrains in this gorgeous and highly capable vehicle. The circuit has been designed in such a way that it really tests your driving skills, through water, steep climbs and extremely difficult angles. But it was all worth it.
One hour flew by pretty fast and once back at the event area, the LR team was at hand to answer all sorts of questions about the car.
For me, the Land Rover Experience has been a truly unique one. Firstly, to be able to drive this gorgeous vehicle. And secondly, to be part of this fantastic initiative by a luxury brand to engage with its customers.
If you’re already a Land Rover customer, you can ask to be updated on the next Experience. If not, check out landrover.in
For more luxurious experiences, watch this space, on UrbanEye, the ultimate source of luxury content for the Indian male.
Experienced by Riaan J. George