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Land Rover North America Gears Up for TReK '99

6 January 1999

Land Rover North America Gears Up for TReK '99 with Special-edition Discovery Series II

DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Molten orange and built for purpose, the special-edition Land Rover Discovery Series II introduced today at the North American International Auto Show captures the rugged spirit of Land Rover and serves as the sounding bell for Land Rover TReK '99. Introduced in 1996, Land Rover TReK is an inter-retailer challenge modeled after the annual Camel Trophy Adventure. The event provides an opportunity for the staff of Land Rover's retail outlets to showcase their off-road driving skill, product knowledge and four-wheel-drive enthusiasm.

Land Rover TReK '99 will be held in northern California in the early summer of 1999. All of Land Rover North America's 117 retailers will be encouraged to participate in the territorial trials by entering three-person, employee-only teams. The territorial trials will involve numerous physically and mentally challenging tasks, including orienteering, rally-type navigation, running, and precision off-road driving. Completing the eighteen-hour ordeal will take teamwork and determination. Trial winners will be invited back to the finals to compete for the Land Rover TReK '99 crown. Past winners include Land Rover Buckhead and Land Rover North Point, both of Atlanta.

"While other automobile companies talk about off-road driving, ruggedness and the pursuit of adventure, Land Rover lives it," said Charles R. Hughes, president, Land Rover North America. "Land Rover is a company of four-wheel- drive zealots, from my executive committee to the sales guides on the showroom floor. TReK is our opportunity to harness this enthusiasm and have some fun. After all, there's more to the automobile business than just lease rates and sales pitches."

Teams competing in Land Rover TReK '99 will use identically prepared vehicles similar to the special-edition model showcased at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. The vehicle is based on Land Rover's all- new 1999 Discovery Series II.

The 1999 Series II is a technological tour de force for Land Rover. On- road performance has been greatly enhanced with an all-new suspension and numerous powertrain upgrades. Off-road performance remains the industry model thanks to standard features such as permanent four-wheel drive, four- wheel electronic traction control, Hill Descent Control and Land Rover's hallmark long-travel suspension. Optional equipment includes Active Cornering Enhancement, which reduces bodylean during cornering conditions while at the same time allowing for greater wheel travel in off-road situations. Also available is Self-Leveling Suspension which employs rear air springs to maintain optimal ride height under a variety of load conditions and can be used to raise the rear of the vehicle to increase the departure angle, giving the Series II even greater off-road capability.

The special-edition Series II for Land Rover TReK is designed for hardened off-roaders who take their vehicles to extreme conditions. Research indicates that over 38 percent of Land Rover owners use their vehicles off-road, far higher than the industry average.

The special-edition Series II features a number of upgrades designed to support the already excellent off-road capability of Land Rover's Discovery. The vehicle rides on BF Goodrich's Mud Terrain 285/75R-16 tires. Up front there is a custom-made steel bumper with an integrated Warn XD9000 winch. The custom rear bumper features an integrated class-three trailer hitch. There is extensive undercarriage armor, including rock sliders with integrated air tanks for tire pressure adjustment. For late night action, the vehicle employs nine Hella lamps, including three high intensity discharge driving lights. There is a full length roof rack and, mounted on the rear, a 48-inch high-lift jack. Under the hood, the conventional battery has been replaced with dry cell technology, which can better withstand the punishment of extreme off-road driving. Inside, the door panels and seats are covered with two-ply supplex waterproof fabric. All carpets have been removed in favor of more durable and easier to clean rubber matting.

Support for this project was provided by BF Goodrich, Hella, Old Man Emu, Safari Gard, Safety Devices, Southdown and Warn.

Land Rover North America, Inc. is a member of the Rover Group, importing vehicles manufactured by Land Rover, Solihull, England. The Rover Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG.