15 October 2013
Land Rovers complete Silk Trail expedition
Hostile conditions on the route included asphalt roads riddled with vast and deep potholes, dusty desert trails in 43 degrees Celsius heat and numerous miles of mud and gravel tracks and cattle trails. In addition river crossings, passes clinging to the edges of mountains partly blocked by rock falls, the thin air of extremely high altitudes and the dense and erratic traffic of Chinese and Indian roads, all added to the test of man and machine.
It has blazed a trail through France Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China (including Tibet), Nepal and India. For much of this distance, the expedition followed the legendary Silk Road trading routes that first connected Asia with Europe more than 2,500 years ago. Overnight halts were made in hotels, hostels and tents at many of the same staging posts visited all those years ago by Silk Road merchants, missionaries and mercenaries.
Jaguar Land Rover say the routes travelled would have been impassable to most other types of vehicle, but the Range Rover hybrid prototypes took it all in their stride.