Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust

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If the yeti is allowed to stir up dust

Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust-test

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The Skoda motorcade made the toughest test in Namibia.

Source: Roland Lowisch

Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust-allowed

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Dusty slopes as far as the eye can see.

Source: Roland Lowisch

Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust-namibia

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Except for a few modifications (coarse tires, optionally available reinforced underrun protection and checker plates, which also protect the brake and fuel lines) blove the yetis unchanged.

Source: Roland Lowisch

Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust-endurance

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Between blink-hair feather grass and wild weaver bird nests in the trees.

Source: Roland Lowisch

Endurance test in Namibia: When the Yeti is allowed to stir up dust-yeti

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The yeti did well. However, on longer descents it became clear how much there is no hill descent aid and the brakes for such hard continuous loads are not aare designed.

Source: Roland Lowisch

The Skoda fun mobile competes bravely on the natural slopes with sharp stones and sunken lanes. How much "Offroad" is actually in the Yeti, but shows up on steep descents.

E.There are car companies that really don’t have it easy. Take Skoda, for example. Always in the shadow of VW as an over-brand in the group. Solid and inexpensive cars in the portfolio, but whose image hardly makes anyone celebrate. And the day-to-day adventure of the only emotionally-charged fun mobile in the portfolio, the small all-wheel-drive SUV called Yeti, mostly consists of just having mothers drive their children to daycare while sitting in a high seat.

The Yeti was made available to a wider public by the Federal President a. D. known. After his inglorious resignation, Christian Wulff took his first business trip in a Yeti, the photo was immediately in the "image" again.

With all due respect to Christian Wulff, that is not enough for the Skoda executives. You are considering participating in the generally prosperous business of customer travel. So they shipped four Yeti with a two-liter diesel engine to the politically calm, German-style and color-unrivaled African state and tested how far you can go – or drive – with a Yeti.

The test cars are hardly modified

The trip starts in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which is not really worth seeing. Here, however, the Namib adventure begins, this up to 160 kilometers wide and 2000 kilometers long sandy desert right on the cold Atlantic. Lucky for us that it rained astonishingly much, so that large parts of the desert are green – the shimmering silver Stipagrostis Uniplumis, also known as the blink-haired feather grass or Bushman grass, shows its most shimmering side.

The 110 hp Skoda were left as original as possible for the desert tour. "We only added the optionally available reinforced underrun protection", says Skoda’s press chief Nicolaus Reichert, "and have packed the tank again." Corrugated sheets now also protect the brake and fuel lines.

In addition, coarse tires were fitted – which would look a bit strange on a German autobahn, but are strongly recommended in Namibia. You are not allowed to drive more than 100 km / h on the roads and slopes anyway.

Dust, dust over and over again

And you can’t do that either. The majority are natural slopes – full of sand, mostly gravel. Pointed stones everywhere, and what makes driving in a convoy exhausting is the eternal dust. Even if rain temporarily binds the slopes: the sun mercilessly dries them up again.

A police roadblock lets us pass immediately, and we’re on the edge of the Namib. Wild weaver bird nests in the trees, many birds of prey and springboks everywhere on the wide plains immediately create an exotic feeling.

We hardly notice that we are driving in a right-hand drive country with left-hand drive vehicles, the traffic is so sparse here. If you come across three cars on 100 kilometers of slopes away from the cities, it is already rush hour.

Nonetheless, the third oncoming truck brings a hail of stones with it, which immediately affects a rock hole in the windshield. No wonder that rental cars are so expensive for tourists here. The wear and tear is enormous.

The struts get to know their limits

We also notice this on the drive to Sossusvlei, a salt flat surrounded by the Namib dunes, which is filled with water for the first time since 2006 because of the heavy rainfall and which houses lively tadpoles and other animals that live there for years in dry soil when wet was waiting.

Again and again pebbles hit the floor of the car from below, sharp stones drill into the tire treads. Sunken roadways, deep potholes and slipped bridges sometimes create nasty steps in the roadway. And when you rush into such a treacherous hole at 100 km / h, the springs come to their limits.

From the entrance to the Sesriem Canyon, however, the only road is paved – otherwise the dust would completely suffocate the few still intact trees. The last five kilometers before the dune at the salt pond are reserved for all-wheel drive vehicles. There are no more paved slopes here.

The Skoda helpers dutifully let the air out of the tires in order to be able to move them better at walking pace, but that’s not really necessary: ​​it takes more to stop a Yeti. In general, the section gives the impression of helping the country’s chauffeurs to earn an income. For ten euros, casual Namibians drive tourists in converted Land Rover Defenders to the walkable dunes.

Moonscape in the Dorob National Park

But there are more places where a yeti can prove what he’s made of. After a night in Swakopmund – probably the southernmost German North Sea resort – we drive to the Dorob National Park.

Winding paths lead through a lunar landscape with the largest deposits of uranium under dark stones, some sand and a few dollar bushes, the leaves of which are soaked with water and enable all animals to survive here in the inhospitable area.

The Yeti crawl bravely over the rocks here, sometimes on only three wheels, but longer descents have to be taken in first gear because there is no hill descent aid and the brakes are not designed for such hard continuous loads.

The endurance tests prove that such a Yeti can take a lot. Perhaps, however, the possible fleet for customer events should not be stationed in Swakopmund. Because of the high salt content in the air, cars there do not survive for much longer than five years, according to the experience of the residents. That would be quite counterproductive in terms of image building.

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