competitors embark on the first stage of the Land Rover G4 Challenge
in March 2003, their primary mode of transportation – and
their home-away-from home – will be a Tangiers Orange Land
Rover G4 Challenge Freelander. But before competitors get their
hands on the vehicle, the thousands of people attending the Specialty
Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Expo in Las Vegas will
get a “sneak peak” at the G4 Challenge Freelander
as part of the Ford Motor Company display. The SEMA show is the
world’s largest trade event dedicated solely to aftermarket
equipment and vehicle modifications.
Land Rover G4 Challenge Freelanders are all built
on the standard Freelander production line and have the same mechanical
systems as the vehicles going to customers. However, they have
been fitted with a variety of specialized equipment to make them
ready for the Land Rover G4 Challenge.
Each Land Rover G4 Challenge Freelander is equipped
Warn roof-mounted auxiliary lamps.
Front and rear winch receivers.
Safety Devices custom roof rack, rear ladder and platform.
Garmin GPS navigation modules.
Pietzle rappelling gear.
Land Rover Vehicle Kit accessories, including brush bars, Safari
roof racks, kayak and mountain-bike carriers and first aid kits.
Front and rear aluminum skidplates.
Front and rear tow points with heavy-duty recovery rings.
Air-intake system snorkel.
In addition to this specialty equipment, some of the standard
Freelander features that will be put to the test by G4 Challenge
2.5-litre, 174-hp aluminum-alloy V6 engine with
177 lb-ft of torque.
Five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with
CommandShiftTM sport/manual operation.
Land Rover permanent all-wheel drive.
Center Viscous Coupling Unit (VCU) and Intermediate Reduction
Four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC).
Four channel, all-terrain anti-lock brakes.
Land Rover’s patented Hill Descent Control (HDC).
The Land Rover G4 Challenge is an adventure competition that pits
individual competitors from 16 nations against each other in a
myriad of challenges – including on- and off-road driving
in Land Rover vehicles, kayaking, skiing, snow boarding, climbing,
rappelling and more. The competition will last five weeks and
cover more than 4,000 miles. The G4 name comes from the global
aspect of the competition – the four stages will take place
in four different seasons, on three continents, in four different
time zones. All four 4x4 Land Rover models will be employed during
“For more than 50 years, Land Rover vehicles
have been the backbone of adventures all over the world,”
says Bob Dover, Chief Operating Officer, Aston Martin Jaguar Land
Rover. “The Land Rover G4 Challenge will add another exciting
chapter to our rich history of adventures. Best of all, the G4
Challenge epitomizes the spirit of Land Rover. The competition
was designed to reward teamwork, ingenuity, strategic thinking,
athleticism and, most of all, a positive, can-do attitude. While
in the end there can be only one winner, in a sense, all 16 competitors
will win simply by finishing this grueling event.”
The first stage, using G4 Challenge Freelanders,
will begin in New York City and run from the Northeastern U.S.
to Canada. The second stage, using G4 Challenge Defender, will
cover the wilds of South Africa (Defender is not available in
the U.S.). The third stage will be in Australia using Range Rovers,
while the fourth will return to the U.S., this time in the West
using Discovery vehicles. Each stage of the competition will encompass
both major urban centers and remote rural areas.
The four different stages will test the competitors’
physical capability and mental alacrity as they are called on
to navigate a wide variety of terrain (by whatever means they
deem most appropriate) in their quest to reach the various scoring
stations – electronic location markers with preset point
values. While every one of the sixteen competitors will enjoy
an enormous sense of personal pride and accomplishment upon finishing
the event, just one will win the grand prize – a 2003 Range
Rover worth $71,200.