Land Rover’s long association with the Camel Trophy ended in 1998 due to the company’s fears about its environmental impact and its association with tobacco sales. But Land Rover’s incoming Ford managers were determined to create the company’s own competition.
This emerged in
2002 as the Land Rover G4 Challenge, with the first event taking place in 2003. Designed to be diverse in both the competitive tasks faced by the teams and the terrain covered, it included four legs on four continents. Disco 2s were used on the final leg from Moab to Las Vegas. The event was won by Belgian fighter pilot Rudi Thoelen, who rejected the Range Rover prize in favour of a pair of Defenders. Like the other G4 vehicles, the Discovery 2s were finished in the G4’s distinctive trademark Tangiers Orange and equipped with a variety of expedition equipment including a winch, roof rack, supplementary lighting, lamp guards and load space guard.
As American-specification vehicles, they were powered by the 4.6-litre version of the V8. A G4 Edition resplendent in Tangiers Orange was offered by the company, though it could also be had with slightly more sober Borrego Yellow, Java Black or Zambezi Silver. The G4 Owners’ Club continues to thrive.
The D2’s impressive articulation was put to good use on its 2003 G4 outing. A mountain bike and kayak – both needed in the event – were stowed on the roof rack.