The defender name is truly iconic in my opinion, and this is an all new model. No more live axles. It'S all independent suspension, air suspension, new aluminium monocoque chassis it's, going to be really interesting to see how this car performs and where better the first drive Land Rovers reimagined icon than in the wild northwest region of Namibia. To our west is the South Atlantic Ocean and to our north is the canina river and the Angolan border. This is very remote and it's wild and we have some great challenges and destinations on the menu, and I say reimagine, because although this defender does carry the new name, it is literally 100 new Land Rover reckons. This is going to be the best yet, but there's only one way to find out let's, go and see what this defenders made of we've just landed on a small dirt airstrip in the middle of a pool that's a 7500 strong town that's. Also, the capital of this far flung region, Namibia, has one of the lowest population densities in the world, and this canina region is extremely sparse in terms of population. Kimber and Herrera people still live here, living mostly traditional lives in this harsh country, where water is even more rare than bitumen starting in a pillow. Our journey is an anticlockwise loop that'll take in some of the best and most challenging terrain. The Namibia has to offer that's over three days our first destination of vans eels Pass is an infamously sketchy mountain track which will give us access to a vast and ancient riverbed called the Marion flues from there we're following the high received River.
All the way down to the wild and hostile skeleton coast where the desert meets the ocean, then we will finish our loop by driving back inland and northward. Look who, over again with gear loaded into the defenders. Our first Direction is Northwest away from that tiny sense of civilization that a Perot gives you you're immediately on a wide and loose unsealed road pushing into country that gets slowly more rugged and wild we're headed to Van zil's pass a remote and challenging track that locals. Mostly tackle on foot because of the rough terrain, it's tricky and challenging in spots with cross, axles and side angles to master, but I have to say the defender did prove more than up to the challenge. If you're going to be doing, this yourself make sure your vehicle and you as a driver, is capable enough to handle the challenge. The tracks, remote nature only compounds things if you do run into problems and it's. Another good reason why traveling in convoy is such a good idea. The track has a history dating back to 1965, when the regional Commissioner cut the mountain, pass with local labor hand, tools and a lot of hard Yakka, and he did it to give access to this incredible countryside. Further to the west, it's called the Marion flues, and once we drop down the steep and slippery goat track, that is Van zil's. We can put on a little bit more speed and look out in all of the incredible surroundings.
The Marion flues is normally much more vibrant in green it's, an ancient riverbed that acts like pasture for large numbers of wildlife, but like Australia and Namibia, has been going through many years of hard drought, and this country is incredibly parched. While it is now dry and dusty, it is still an incredible experience. I know I just mentioned drought, but funnily enough, our visit to the area also happened to bring some heavy rain to parts of the Canadian region we didn't get rained on directly, but our convoy was brought to a stop by a raging river that only 24 hours Ago was dry enough to drive it's hard to believe, but our itinerary literally included driving up the river like many of the locals, do because it's a relatively smooth track compared to rough and rocky alternatives. So much so and earlier wave of defender drivers came across a prime mover stuck in the riverbed and needing recovery. Luckily, for the driver, two vehicles were able to hook up onto the front of the vehicle and pull it to safety, safe to say the 6.5 ton recovery points probably got a workout on that day. For us, though, the river was completely different, it was flowing hard and slowly rising out came the recovery gear, as the lead car was anchored off another with synthetic rope in case it got washed away and after walking it to be sure in went the defender. It got across without any issue.
The firm base of the river gives plenty of grip. Let'S be honest, has probably been baking in the Sun. For years, the defender came back across again only to find out later that the river ahead was impossible and we had to find another way around driving this defender. At the moment, you can tell from the driver's seat that it is a Land Rover Defender there's a lot of homage in this interior. Here I can see lots of it in the dashboard it's a magnesium panel here, which is pretty cool him just grab handles on the end, looking out over the bonnet it's, not a flat windscreen anymore, but it's definitely still defender, something that is definitely not. Defender, though, is the way they sing drives it's going to drive completely differently, obviously it's completely different, underneath and it does. This defender is quiet, it's, more refined, it's, smooth this engine is really really quiet, even under power. So I've got the D 240 at the moment. At 177, kilowatts twin turbo, 2 liter diesel and there's 430 newton meters there and that's available from 1400 rpm, so it's a gutty engine, definitely running through an 8 speed automatic gearbox permanent, all wheel drive like the old defender, but along with the locking senate. If you look in rear diff as well so in terms of capability it's right up there, our next location was the incredible skeleton coast, a unique landscape of desert sand, beach and ocean.
That makes up this huge national park on the west side of namibia. Access is possible for the public, but our convoy is able to go into a different area by a blessing of the local Rangers out. Here we saw Oryx, we saw giraffes and we played a game of cricket on the beaches in driftwood. The skeleton coast gives an incredible feeling of a hostile remoteness, that's hard to explain the Seas of this area are even more treacherous while the whale and seal carcasses that originally gave this area its name and now gone it's carried on by the thousands of shipwrecks that Dot this remote coastline, a couple of our vehicles, did have trouble in the soft sand after stopping needing recovery with Mac's tracks and some digging. But we found if he did keep your momentum and wheel. Speed. High enough, you didn't have any issues if you're gon na buy this defender and expect it to be like the old one. You'Re gon na be a bit disappointed because it's a different car, yes it's got the same name plate. It does have the same spirit. I suppose the same feeling about it, but it's, more modern, it's, more advanced, it's, more refined, but that makes it to be brutally honest. A better all round vehicle. The old defender was so uncompromising. The end product is heavily compromised right off road, greater load, lugging, greater towing, all those things, but on road practically like a tractor with the indicator stalks right.
This new defender is much more car like, but it feels like a full drive and it does feel like a defender which i think is incredibly important, while Namibia might sound dangerous and far flung. This part of Africa is actually seen as one of the most stable and safer visitors. So while you might want to get a few jabs from the doctor before visiting, it is a country that has an abundance of wildlife, unique landscapes and friendly locals. That makes for an incredible adventure and experience our three days covered nearly 1000 kilometres, and we saw such a diverse range of country in that time. It'S a landscape undoubtedly best explored by four wheel. Drive you'd want something both off road capable and comfortable for those long days on the road, and the defender was great in both respects in many ways have proved itself to be the perfect vehicle for what was an amazing journey. If you want to see more of the new defender off road be sure to check out our in depth review here on YouTube and at care advice.