Land Rover and Airstream embarked on a ride to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Range Rover Sport Hybrid.
The premium diesel hybrid towed the aluminum travel trailer 2,500 miles to Land Rover’s cold-weather test center in Arjeplog, Sweden, then on to the Arctic Circle.
Land Rover said this real world test of the vehicle’s capability was done towing through some of the worst winter weather Scandinavia has experienced in living memory. Gales, record snow depths and icy road conditions are said to have tested crew, car and trailer to the extreme.
Why use an Airstream? According to Land Rover, more European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer; this is why the British company found the Range Rover Sport Hybrid and Airstream made an excellent match.
Starting their journey at Land Rover’s Design and Engineering Centre in Gaydon in the English Midlands, the team headed to Mengerskirchen in Germany, where a specially winterized travel trailer was waiting for them at Airstream Europe’s headquarters.
En route, the team had to cross the five-mile long Øresund Bridge, which was being hit by the tail end of Hurricane Ole, said Land Rover, adding the company’s Trailer Stability Assist helps brake each wheel individually based on what is happening to the trailer, helping deal with swing within milliseconds of it starting, well before it becomes an issue.
Off-road, the diesel hybrid SUV is said to have proved its worth too, repeatedly pulling the trailer up and down snowy and often dangerously icy hills, and along forest tracks without fuss.
Further north, with temperatures of -22 degrees celcius (-7.6 Fahrenheit) outside, both the vehicle and the trailer’s cold-climate capability and comfort ensured that driver, passengers, and indeed those cooking and sleeping in the trailer each evening, experienced nothing but unruffled luxury.
The cold-weather facility at Arjeplog in northern Sweden is the winter proving ground for the full range of Land Rover’s all-terrain vehicles.
For four months every year, the company’s engineers pitch vehicles against extreme winter conditions with temperatures which have been known to reach -39 degrees (-39.2 Fahrenheit) in daytime but, per Land Rover, can plummet as low as -42 degrees centigrade (-43.6 Fahrenheit) overnight.
“The Range Rover Sport Hybrid has gone through the same grueling test and development regime that all our cars do,” said Phil Talboys, who manages the Arjeplog test facility. “This journey just goes to show that the Range Rover Sport Hybrid is pure hybrid – with all the capability and versatility that you’d expect from a Land Rover.”