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Home 4X4 Is this photograph real, and why did you take it anyway?
Is this photograph real, and why did you take it anyway?

Is this photograph real, and why did you take it anyway?

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In the latest example of commenting based on flawed assumptions, I posted the image above and was told it was photoshopped from flat.

It isn’t.

Here’s the car earlier on the track:

Nobody would suggest that photograph is modified. It does give an idea of the track, which is basically a U-shaped gully. If I’d put the left wheels in the bottom of the rut then that would have been about a 27 degree angle right there, as shown.

We were travelling downhill, so it wasn’t unexpected that the track became more of a V and less of a U. Which is where I took the photo.

That’s around 45 degrees, which is a long way over. However, this is a Freelander 2 with a relatively low centre of gravity, it’s lightly loaded, and there’s not much suspension travel so it can handle significant sideangles. And, I could very slowly creep up the bank and increase the sideangle. So I did.

But why did I even bother in the first place? Simple, I’m a car journalist specialising in 4X4s, and I wanted a shot like this in my collection so I could show different driving techniques for different vehicles – there is no reason to drive that far up, could take a much flatter line, but I wanted the image. I would not have tried this with a Defender for the reverse of the reasons stated.

In this crop you can see the lack of weight on the top rear tyre:

And this one shows the V-gully nature of the track, as well as the increased distance between the top of the tyres and the wheelarches:

So the FL2 really was over at quite an angle, and it certainly wasn’t a flat track photo edited to look like a side angle.

Why write this post? Why not..it’s interesting to me how people react to things on the Internet, and how assumptions are made before commenting, as well as showing a bit of how and why I take the photographs that I do.

Here’s an interesting pic, 35 degrees of body roll, 28 degrees of side angle:

And this Series 1 is at 45 degrees:

Here’s a Defender from Bermuda Rover, about to tip over as part of a demonstration. The soft suspension, narrow body and weight up top means it’ll tip a lot earlier than the FL2, but it’s still managed to get quite a long way over – I’ve measured that roughly at 45 degrees, so that also means the FL2 could go beyond 45 as its centre of gravity is much lower and it doesn’t have that soft suspension you see compressing on the downside.

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

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