So much so that I was discussing movie preferences with my co-driver instead of paying attention to the trail. Then, we arrived at a river crossing. Now things weren't just slippery, there were some rocks to go over and ditches to overcome; some of which I couldn't even see.
It was time to let the electronics on the Discovery Sport perform a different set of tricks. It was time to turn on Mud and Ruts. Here the throttle response is relatively more alert and the SUV holds on to a gear for a little while longer. The idea here is to compensate for the lack of traction that emerges from having less than four wheels on the ground.
To do that, the Discovery applies brake on the wheel with less or no traction – if it were dangling in the air for instance. Now, by stopping the wheel from merely spinning away and doing no work, the system transfers power to the wheel with traction. And the more direct throttle response meant, we made it through the river, slowly but surely.
As we got out of the water, there was a steep, rocky and slippery climb staring back at us. That's not all, there were a few hairpin bends as a part of this climb as well. So, when in doubt, go flat out, wasn't going to work here. Instead I had to apply Land Rover's off-roading philosophy - as slow as possible, and as fast as necessary.
Given that I am no off-roading expert, I didn't completely get the hang of it. So, I floored it where I shouldn't have, and forgot to get on the power when the SUV needed it the most. And so, we kept getting bogged down. Then, I did what any sensible person would do – I called for help. I engaged ATPC.
ATPC or All Terrain Progress Control. It’s like cruise control, but for the slow and unhurried wanting help in difficult off-roading scenarios. Like me. ATPC basically decides how much power to give and when. Ditto for braking. For all intents and purposes, the SUV drives itself. All the driver has to do is steer. You can also choose the speed you want to cruise at. I went for the lowest possible. I think it was 7kmph. And so, with my steering skills, we made it through.