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Land Rover Defender – the formula to conquer the rich

Overcoming the road is only 10 meters, but the mud is muddy, the sharp rocks will make you happy, thinking “my steering wheel is great, and the car is great”.

Cha (co-driver) jumped into the muddy pit, hooked the winch cable to the top of the high-rise SUV, then struggled up the road, ran to the distance around the rope to the tree. “Up”, shouted, in the car, begged (driver) to step on the accelerator, mud and dirt splashed, covering the interior of the roofless car…

It’s a scene often seen in off-road trips of “muddy-blooded” people, who are passionate about playing off-road vehicles in an extreme way. And that number is not much. For drivers who consider cars as a common means of transportation, but are also curious, and wish they were as brave and “crazy”, there is another easier way. That is buying Land Rover Defender. Of course, you have to be rich. Because the standard version has cost nearly 4.7 billion.

Land Rover Defender on the road under construction from Ta Xua (Son La) to Tram Tau (Yen Bai).  Photo: Ngo Minh

Land Rover Defender on the road under construction from Ta Xua (Son La) to Tram Tau (Yen Bai). Image: Ngo Minh

The grave world can be generous for Defender The title of “off-road king” of England, in Germany there is a Mercedes G-class or Americans are proud of Jeeps. But in Vietnam, like most other markets, customers who spend billions of dong to buy Defender or G-class are not to push these “kings” into the most miserable battle, but 5 days a week. the city, only 2 weekends to the forest.

Unlike Range Rover with its dashing appearance, always standing out on the street, Defender, on the contrary, is still tall and muscular but taciturn and masculine. The line of people waiting at a red light makes it difficult to ignore the bulky Range Rover next to them, but it is common sense not to even bother to keep an eye on the Defender. If you only look at the rear, the impression of the SUV can be merely “a certain type of off-road vehicle”. It is also reasonable, when the car is named “defender”, not “forward”.

Throw in the trunk of the car a set of camping chairs and tables, a cooler to store food and then hit the road. The early summer sun makes the atmosphere in Hanoi more sultry, the SUV is 5m long on Thang Long Boulevard, straight to the Northwest. People who love driving in Vietnam still tell each other, if you have not conquered the peaks of the northern passes, do not consider yourself a good driver. Of course, in addition to having to drive well, the car also has to be a good horse.

The curves of the winding paved road can be difficult for popular models, but with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that has nearly 300 horsepower and 400 Nm of pulling power, it is really a small thing. Stop in the middle of the small steep road leading up to Ta Xua and then depart across the slope. No, there is no concept of a steep departure here. Just press the throttle, Defender lazily runs, like on a flat road, without a bit of trouble.

The real psychological challenge only comes on the road leading from Ta Xua (Son La) to Tram Tau (Yen Bai), 60 km long, unfinished with all kinds of road surfaces: some sections have been paved with concrete, others have been paved with concrete. Some parts are like swamps, others are like quarries where just one wrong order of cake will not have a chance to do it again.

Choose a large area of ​​land where it has just been leveled to stop for lunch. In the middle of the valley, the mountain sun burns the skin red after just ten minutes of sitting outside, without phone waves and the “orphaned” winds sometimes blow over, bringing cool water from the deep stream hundreds of meters away. After many hours of driving, I see that the egg, boiled corn and cup of coffee are better than usual.

Driving is very fast, especially off-road driving, it consumes more energy, because all senses have to strain themselves. The road ahead revealed two deep, waterlogged trenches from the plowing of trucks and concrete mixers all day before after the heavy rain. The cake cannot be placed on a high strip of land because if you put the cake on the right, the left side will go down the cliff, if you hit the cake on the left, the right side will enter the row of sharp rocks. The only way left is to follow the old cake trail.

When the Defender 110’s head is down, the screen shows a crash warning and beeps that always confuse the driver. Activate to raise the chassis up to a maximum of about 7 cm, too luxurious. The rest is steady steering, even throttle and try “don’t scratch the car”. It sounds paradoxical when going off-road, but off-road for the rich is also different, the sensor sounds in all directions when it’s about to touch right, left, undercarriage, touching everything.

Defender on top of Ta Xua cloud.  Photo: Huy Thang

Defender on top of Ta Xua cloud. Image: Huy Thang

If trying to find the familiar spice of off-road trips with spinning wheels, struggling because of losing grip, it is too difficult. The car body weighs up to 2.2 tons with hundreds of kilograms of people and luggage, but Defender shows it as to demonstrate the concept of “light off-road”. Trying to listen to the usual roar of the engine when trying hard because of loss of grip also did not exist. The four loaves kept grinding back and forth on the muddy ground without hesitation.

What Defender 110 does not do well is possibly misleading the driver, that he is also very talented. From the pounding heart, the body temperature drops, when you get through the difficult part, the adrenaline goes to the extreme and you think “I’m great, bring all the challenges here”. You may be great, but you may not be. Assuming it’s not the Defender’s 300-horsepower engine, maybe the wheels are covered in mud, the driver’s mental state is different.

But experience is the real gain. Recipes will be drawn after each pass through mud, rock or steep slope. One: the right foot is evenly throttled, neither light nor strong, always keep the engine rewinding. Two: keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel because after just two shakes, if it’s not stable, you don’t know where your wheel is located. Three: go diagonally or in a straight line to avoid sharp stones cutting the edge of the tire. Four five six…

After 4 hours, the 60 km mountain road also passed, the body was soft because the two eggs and boiled corn were completely digested. If I had to go right back down that road, the answer would be “No”. But another weekend, a different path, is very willing.

The feeling of conquering nature is a very strange dish that the rich “afraid of dirt” do not think about. The off-road thing doesn’t winch, doesn’t jump in the mud, doesn’t have a snorkel on high, doesn’t have a meter-long fork like the guys who “warm” through the woods at midnight, but it’s suitable for those looking for a strange feeling after days in a crazy week to make money.

Of course, they must be rich. To buy Defender, or some similar king.

Duc Huy

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