Welcome to the Rubicon Trail. The pedal in question is attached to the latest, JL-generation Jeep Wrangler – gently tweaked, substantially improved but, to everybody’s relief, fundamentally unaltered from before – and what you’ve just imagined is a stretch known as Cadillac Hill. In essence, this is 15 sweaty-palmed minutes of warily managing gravity in such a way that machine isn’t unnecessarily damaged or beached entirely by your own ineptitude.

It’s one reason why the trail as a whole is regarded as the toughest off-road challenge in the world – a hot lap of the Nu¨rburgring for those of a knobbly tyred disposition – and were it any easier, it’d be a disappointment. The prospect of axle-breakage looms large here. More so if you’re driving a Land Rover, say some partisan but pleasant locals we encounter.

Because of the remoteness of this point, an hour’s drive south of Reno in the El Dorado mountain range, even minor maladies can mean an overnight stay before a ‘trail repair’ can be made...

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DRIVEN: THIS Is What It's Like To Tackle The Rubicon Trail In The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JL)

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