With a highway speed limit of 75 mph, this wide open area offers a different challenge for a big SUV. It’s almost guaranteed that there will be a strong head/cross wind. The two trucks are within a few hundred pounds of each other with different off-road optimized axle gearing, tire size, and tread. The off-road front bumpers, roof rack, and accessories on the Land Rover create a less than ideal aero-dynamic package.
The morning came early - each of us immediately looked out the windows to see how much snow had fallen, and we looked to our phones to see how much was still in store. Snow was falling fast and several inches had already accumulated. It was time to log cold starts and the decision was made: we would send one vehicle straight to Denver to ensure our media guests caught their flights and the other two vehicles would attempt Loveland Pass.
With our friends from Overland International and Alloy + Grit behind the wheels of the Land Cruiser and Land Rover, it was time to climb. Our media guests observed that there was no need to have the pedal to the floor winding through the 6.6% grades. Holding speed or accelerating wasn’t an issue even with our altitude of 10,000 feet and engine temperature gauge reading 190 degrees F. At this point, the builders mentioned some of the features they were working to program into the 6-speed GM transmissions including tap shifting, sport mode, and other hill climbing overdrive lockouts.
Touching down about the same time at each airport, we were each greeted with the great sight of two very clean SUV’s. Although looking very different from each other, they shared a very familiar sound under the hood.