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Land Rover's 'The Above & Beyond Tour 2019' recently concluded in Bangalore. The event is part of the company's global drive experience offered to owners and potential customers. The Above & Beyond Tour allows customers a chance to self-drive a Land Rover in a controlled off-road course and test its capabilities first-hand.
About ‘The Above & Beyond Tour 2019'
The Above & Beyond Tour from Land Rover first started in India, back in 2013. Since then, the event is held every year, in different parts of the country. Having already covered cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Noida, Mumbai and Kochi, the event finally reached Bangalore.
The off-road driving experience was held at Wild Retreat Adventure Club, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore on the 16th November 2019. The entire event was organised by Cougar Motorsport, which has a dedicated lineup of stock Discovery Sport and Evoque models for the off-road experience.
Rohit Suri, President & MD, JLR India, stated:
"The Above and Beyond Tour in India is an extremely popular activity with our customers. Not only do they get to experience all that a Land Rover can do, but they also get to enjoy some thrilling and unforgettable moments in the world's most capable vehicles."
The Drive Experience:
After the initial driver's briefing, each of us were assigned a car with a dedicated instructor. We got onto the Land Rover Discovery Sport for the drive. The instructor started off with a small debrief, explaining the various drive modes and features which we would be using during the drive.
The drive started off quite easily, with a small descent. The instructor quickly switched on the Hill Descent Control (HDC) feature on the SUV, which prevents the car from sliding down the slope.
Hill Descent Control allows the car to maintain traction while going down a slope. It does this by sending power to different wheels while applying brakes whenever required automatically. This ensures a controlled downward drive, without losing control of the vehicle.
Following, the hill descent there are a series of hill climbs; each more challenging than the other. Here we tested out the Discovery Sport's ‘Hill-Start Assist (HSA) feature.
This feature holds the car stationary for 3 seconds during an incline, allowing the driver to move their foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator, without the risk of rolling backwards immediately. This function is not only useful during off-roading, but also in daily traffic conditions in the city as well.
The highlight of the off-roading drive, however, came when we had to take a steep turn into a decline. The vehicle tipped over to one side, with the rear right wheel hanging in the air. This was done, to showcase the vehicle's traction control feature.
The traction control feature on the Land Rover can stop sending power to any of the wheels to reduce losses. This power is in turn transferred to the others on the ground, providing the extra push required.
After all the ups and downs of the track, Land Rover showcased its most important feature, the ATPC (All-Terrain Progress Control) — in simple terms, cruise control for off-roading.
This function activates all the sensors in the car, allowing it to automatically brake and accelerate, without any driver inputs. The car automatically adjusts the modes, traction control levels, HDC and HSC to power the SUV forward, with the driver controlling only the steering wheel.
About The SUV:
We got a chance to drive the top-spec Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE model. This SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine. It produces 177bhp and 430Nm of torque and is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. The car used for the off-roading experience was completely stock, with no changes made. It even wore the standard road-oriented tyres as well.
Thoughts On The Land Rover Off-Road Driving Experience
Land Rover's ‘The Above & Beyond Tour 2019' gave us the opportunity to test the Discovery Sport in some extreme off-roading situations. The luxury SUV, which carries the iconic ‘Land Rover' badging, came out with flying colours, crossing all obstacles in its way with ease.