Land Rover’s TRĕK 2023 competition in Austin, Texas, highlighted the all-terrain prowess of the Defender 130, with teams participating in rigorous challenges that emphasized off-road driving and off-the-grid navigation.
TRĕK 2023 is an adventure and skill-based competition designed to showcase the all-terrain capability of the Defender brand.
Custom-built Defender 130 vehicles, equipped with specialized off-road gear, were utilized by teams in head-to-head and group challenges.
The rugged Defender brand by Land Rover recently took part in the manufacturer’s 2023 TRĕK event, a competition tailored to underline the adventurous spirit and unmatched all-terrain capability of their vehicles. As a part of this challenge, 109 retailer teams, each consisting of four members from the US and Canada, engaged in two intense days of head-to-head and group challenges. These events were held in Austin, Texas, focusing on vital skills such as off-road driving, navigation, and teamwork.
What sets TRĕK 2023 apart is the vehicle of choice: the Defender 130. This vehicle is known for its seating capacity of eight, a sturdy interior, generous cargo space, and more importantly, its off-road capabilities. To ensure the vehicle was up to the challenge, it underwent specific customizations. Notably, these custom-built Defender 130 vehicles were based on the 2023 MY Defender 130 P400 SE.
The TRĕK 2023 Defender 130 boasted a unique matte black wrap featuring the TRĕK logos in carbon black on the doors, paired with custom interior and exterior TRĕK badging. The vehicle was also equipped with a variety of off-road enhancements. This includes off-road tires, a Remote Control Electric Winch, added LED lighting, a hitch-mounted high-light jack, a suspension lift, roof-mounted Tread Pro traction boards, and more.
When it comes to tackling diverse terrains, the vehicle’s adaptive dynamics system plays a pivotal role. This system continuously adjusts to the varying ground conditions, ensuring that the ride remains smooth, the grip optimal, and the torque available. Rock-crawling, a challenging off-road activity, truly tests a vehicle’s prowess, and the Defender 130 excels here. Its impressive ground clearance, paired with the electronic air suspension, allows it to navigate rocky terrains with relative ease.
The Terrain Response system offers selectable modes that tune the vehicle’s performance to specific environments, be it sand, mud, or rocks. Additionally, the vehicle’s wading capability is commendable, allowing it to traverse waterlogged areas or across streams without hesitation. The combination of a responsive engine (3,0L inline-6, 395hp, 406 lb-ft of torque), fortified suspension, and intelligent off-road systems gives the Defender 130 an edge, ensuring it remains a preferred choice for off-road enthusiasts. The Land Rover team organizing the event told us with the utmost confidence that the 130 is “the most capable Defender, more than the 110, and even more so than the 90”.
The TRĕK competition, per the people at Land Rover, serves as a testament to the Defender brand’s legacy. Not only does it pay homage to iconic events for which the brand is famed, such as the Camel Trophy competition, but it also allows participants to truly embrace the ethos of ’embracing the impossible’. By navigating the challenging terrains of Austin, participants tapped into the all-terrain capability of the Defender, a crucial aspect of the competition.
Over 400 retail employees had the opportunity to experience the Defender 130’s capabilities at an adventure-centric off-road facility near Austin. These employees take part in this Trĕk competition as part of their continuous training: the event bolsters their understanding of the off-road capabilities of the Defender brand, and provides them with the necessary tools to better serve their dealer’s clientele.
Charlotte Blank, the US Chief Marketing Officer of Jaguar Land Rover North America, expressed her views on the competition. She emphasized that TRĕK allows retailers to deeply understand and connect with the ‘Embrace the Impossible’ ethos intrinsic to the Defender Brand. The competition is not merely about winning but passing down the accumulated knowledge from years of off-road experience to retailers and, in turn, their clients.
It’s worth noting that the concept of the TRĕK competition isn’t new. It finds its roots in 1996, inspired by the iconic Camel Trophy. Initially conceived as a U.S.-specific challenge for the retailer network, its main aim was to enhance their off-road expertise through a day of immersive off-roading experiences. After a hiatus, the competition made a comeback in 2020 at 4xFAR in Palm Springs. Subsequent editions were held at renowned venues such as The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, and the Land Rover Experience Center in Manchester, VT.