Watch: 2020 Land Rover Defender gets tested in the Dubai desert

The 4x4 was driven up Jebel Jais and through the dunes by all-terrain experts

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It doesn't debut to the public until later this year, but the all-new Land Rover Defender is already plowing through the dunes in Dubai's desert.

The 2020 edition of the 4x4 was tested by people who really know off-roading: the all-terrain experts who work at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The IFRC operates in some of the most hard-to-reach places on earth, and so needs reliable 4x4s to help those in crisis. The British car brand has been working with the charity since 1954, when the first adapted Land Rover entered service in the Middle East to act as a mobile dispensary, delivering goods to those in need.

The new Defender prototype was tested on soft sand at the IFRC's global fleet base in Dubai, as well as on the road that winds up Jebel Jais, the UAE's highest mountain. The car sits on tyres with an overall diameter of up to 815 mm, resulting in a large contact patch, and has a bespoke traction control system.

So far, the new Defender's prototype models have covered more than 1.2 million kilometres in testing, including a week-long initiative with wildlife conservation charity Tusk, in Kenya.

Speaking of new wheels, here are our nine top picks for cars that have been, or are being, released in 2019: