Land Rover may have ditched plans for a hardcore off-road ‘SVX’ Discovery 5, but its Special Vehicle Operations division still adapts the luxurious workhorse for heavy duty applications.
One D5 to receive bespoke treatment – turning it into a cutting-edge genetic sequencing laboratory – has now completed an intense two months in sub-Saharan Africa. The Mobile Malaria Project expedition travelled 4567 miles from Walvis Bay in Namibia, through Windhoek to Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya, often on unmetalled roads to access remote communities.
On board were three Oxford University scientists, recipients of the 2018 Land Rover Bursary. Awarded by the Royal Geographical Society in partnership with Land Rover, the annual grant’s winners receive £30,000 of funding plus a Land Rover to make their project happen.
The project’s mission has been to fight malaria by carrying out genetic sequencing of mosquitos in the field. As a mobile lab and research station, the Land Rover Discovery carried twin awnings, split charge electrics with a fridge/freezer for scientific supplies, recovery gear, roof rack, Laser lamps for night driving and Goodyear Wrangler tyres. Key to the research was state-of-the-art genetic sequencing machines that fit in the palm of the hand.
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