Ben and his colleagues collected an Airstream 684 Series 2 from the Lake District in a Range Rover SDV8 Autobiography, and set off for the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The route took in Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry’s aluminium Marques de Riscal building in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, the beach near Casablanca, the desert outside Chichaoua and the race track at Marrakesh. The destination was Oukaïmeden, the highest ski resort in Africa. Then the Range Rover and Airstream turned tail and headed for home.
In total, Ben and his team travelled 3676 miles in 11 days. “The new Range Rover’s towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half tonne Airstream like it simply wasn’t there,” said Ben. “It didn’t matter what we, or the weather, threw at it – it just did the job we asked of it without question, while truly cosseting us with its extraordinary luxury and refinement.
“Half way through Spain, we encountered horrendous side winds, the type that sees articulated trucks tipped onto their side, but the Range Rover’s Trailer Stability Assist meant that any sway in the trailer was dealt with before it ever started. And mountains. What mountains? With 700NM of torque from that mighty V8 diesel at our disposal, there wasn’t an incline that slowed us down at all, even with a gross train weight of well over five tonnes. What was possibly even more impressive was the way that, even after repeated 12 hour driving days, we’d step up into that exquisite cabin in the morning and still appreciate its sense of occasion.”
Of course, it’s a PR stunt, and so Ben is hardly going to say anything negative. He’s not going to point out the big price hike for the new Range Rover, or mention that the six-cylinder model is more economical and not all that much slower than the SDV8.
However, his trip does make me even more excited about driving the car for myself, which I’ll be doing at the end of the month. Sadly I don’t think Land Rover will let me take the car to Morocco and back…