I should have worn my walking boots. This Jimny is a top-spec 1.3 SZ4, which costs £14,784. Its rippling four-cylinder petrol engine pumps out 84bhp. To be fair to the Jimny, though, it does only weigh 1090kg, meaning it’s just a little heavier than the Range Rover’s tailgate.
Expecting nothing at all of the Suzuki, I lead the way in the Range Rover, Prior following close behind. I keep it fairly straightforward to begin with, heading off around a muddy, rutted right-hand bend that disappears behind an earth bank.
It is no sweat for the Rangie and the Jimny, a narrow, upright white block in my mirrors, tags along behind. I head down a reasonably steep grade, Hill Descent Control managing my speed with total authority and not a trace of wheel slip. The Suzuki glides down effortlessly in pursuit.
For the next 10 minutes, I try everything I can to get to that blasted white block stuck. We plough through thick, sloppy mud, the kind you could lose a wellington boot in. We climb up the steepest climb in the quarry, a sharp two-storey ascent over dry, dusty earth that the Range Rover hauls itself over without pausing for breath. We bounce over mud ruts so deep and hard-packed, even the Rangie scrapes its belly.
Everywhere I go, that infernal Suzuki follow just yards behind. Then I see it: compared with many of the obstacles we’ve dismissed already, it doesn’t look like much, but I reckon it could well be the climb that undoes the Jimny. It isn’t high, no taller than the Range Rover’s roof line. But the ascent is quick and sharp, the mud looks heavy and sticky and the approach is made up of some of the wettest, slickest, most chocolate-pudding-like mud in the entire quarry.
I point the Range Rover towards the ramp and stand on the throttle. The hefty 2.6-tonne beast thunders towards the incline, hits the base of it and climbs for a split second. Then it comes juddering to a halt, all four wheels spinning away hopelessly as I keep the throttle wide open for a second or two. We’re stuck.