Land Rover is celebrating the completion of its millionth Discovery SUV today by launching a trip that will see the vehicle travel from its birthplace near Birmingham, U.K., to Beijing.
“This gruelling expedition will be visiting 13 countries and covering 8,000 miles, and it’s a fitting initiative to celebrate the one millionth vehicle,” said Phil Popham, group sales operations director for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
The journey will cover 8,000 miles and 13 countries in 50 days, following the path originally mapped for “The First Overland Expedition” in 1955, though that trip ended up diverting to Singapore. Unexpected changes seem less likely this time, given the day-and-night difference between automotive technology in cars today.
Nonetheless, there is an uncertain component aside from unpredictable road conditions: JLR aims to raise £1,000,000 for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ water and sanitation project in Uganda as a part of the trip. That goal represents the most ambitious fundraising target for the company to date.
Travelling on the stated path will not only raise money for charity, but it will also take the team of four drivers through some of the company’s major markets. Visit http://www.ammado.com/community/125893 to make a donation to the campaign.
Popham wasn’t shy about making the trip sound devastatingly difficult, though it’s tough to sympathise with people who get paid to take a globally-publicized road trip in a posh luxury SUV. The send-off wasn’t bad either: Such memorable figures as Bear Grylls of the TV show Man Versus Wild, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Polar explorer Ben Saunders attended the event among others.
While it’s probably a stretch to call a drive that breaks down to 160 miles per day anything other than leisurely, there’s definitely no harm in a long trip meant to raise money for charity — provided the money is made and there are plenty of snacks.
It’s probably worth mentioning that with four drivers that figure breaks down further to 40 miles per driver, per day. Our own editor-in-chief, Colum Wood, drives approximately the same distance in his daily commute to the AutoGuide office… each way. High ho Land Rover Discovery.