extreme outback capability
Continuously high temperatures. Fine, red dust. Dunes and corrugations stretching kilometres into the distance. These were the conditions our Australian Grenadier team set out to tackle. To see how suspension, air intake and cooling systems coped. Until, that is, record-breaking rainfall created an unexpected opportunity for our rugged 4X4 to show all its wading, towing and mud-crawling capability, too.
episode 1 – preparation
nothing left to chance
The team needed special permission to use iconic off-road trail, Googs Track. It was actually closed to the public because of temperatures reaching 50° and the risks of getting stranded. So even for a vehicle as tough as the Grenadier, preparation was key. Fitting temperature probes. Changing fluids. Fitting crucial accessories and packing enough supplies. Because where the Grenadier was headed, there was no extra fuel, food, or water to be had.
episode 2 – Googs Track
day and a half in the dunes
After a nine-hour highway journey from Adelaide, the team set off north from Ceduna up the famous Googs Track. A rough, remote 170km route crossing 363 sand dunes, it’s the perfect proving ground for the Grenadier. Time to let air out of the tyres and pop on a sand flag. Suspension, air intake and cooling systems all got their chance to shine in the blazing sun. Traction, articulation, and power were also put to the test, as rain turned sand to mud. Before the Grenadier stormed the final corrugated track to Tarcoola.
episode 3 – Remote fleets
a wealth of insight
At a gold mine in Tarcoola, we did our own kind of digging. We asked fleet owners what they needed from their 4X4s. They told us in no uncertain terms. Quite simply, their job doesn’t happen if their vehicles don’t work. Jobs like running over a million acres with 29,000 head of sheep. So vehicles need to be dependable. Tough, for a tough environment. And to be able to do the job, day in, day out. Their feedback? Stable over the corrugations. And tackled the hills, no drama.
episode 4 – flooded
road closed. play (and work) ground open
Expect the unexpected. That’s what the team was told. But no-one was prepared for what happened next. The rain becomes a one-in-a-hundred-year event. A wild storm that dumped a year’s rain in one week. Flooding the plains. Washing out the railway lines. And providing the ultimate playground. Plus an opportunity for the Grenadier to go to work rescuing an eight-tonne Unimog.
episode 5 – Evacuated
no road. no rail. no worries
With the team stranded and supplies running low, permission is sought, and granted, to evacuate Tarcoola. The team travels in convoy to the Stuart Highway but more foul weather forces them back to Pimba. The following day, the rains subside, and the Grenadier can continue its journey. The team captures powerful footage of the floodwater, a whirlpool, and the Grenadier’s wading capabilities.