The new Land Rover Defender has finally arrived in the flesh. The iteration is reborn with the same purpose that caters to the ones looking to go the extra mile off the tarmac.
Beside the peerless luxury and refinement of the Range Rover family and the highly capable and versatile Discovery SUVs, new Defender completes the Land Rover dynasty. The 110 is just the start for this family of the most capable and durable 4x4s in the world. It will be swiftly followed by a compact, short wheelbase 90 before a pair of practical commercial models join the line-up in 2020.
The new design has minimal front and rear overhangs improving the approach and departure angles. The new 4x4 gets an upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and externally-mounted spare wheel that make the original so identifiable.
On the inside, the new Defender gets innovative features including a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional central front ‘jump’ seat, which provides three-abreast seating across the front like early Land Rovers.
As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations, with a loadspace behind the second-row seats of up to 1,075 litres, and as much as 2,380 litres when the second row is folded. The Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family hatchback.
User-friendly features include practical touches and advanced technological innovations. Durable rubberised flooring shrugs off the spills of daily adventures and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions, providing a brush or wipe clean interior. An optional full-length Folding Fabric Roof provides an open-top feel. It also allows passengers in the second-row seats of the Defender 110 to stand up when parked.
Land Rover’s new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. It is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, providing perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil-sprung suspension and supports the latest electrified powertrains.
The new Defender has been through more than 62 000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture has been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.
During development testing, prototype models have covered millions of kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from the 50-degree heat of the desert and sub-40-degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10 000 ft in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
Permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential ensure it has all the hardware required to excel in the soft sand of the desert, the freezing tundra of the arctic and everywhere in between. Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Defender, allowing experienced off-roaders to fine-tune individual vehicle settings to perfectly suit the conditions, while inexperienced drivers can let the system detect the most appropriate vehicle settings for the terrain, using the intelligent Auto function.
The new body architecture provides ground clearance of 291 mm and giving the 110 approach, break-over and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (Off-Road height) respectively. Its maximum wading depth of 900 mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system.
A choice of advanced petrol and cleaner diesel engines ensure new Defender has the power, control and efficiency for any environment, while a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain will join the range next year providing the prospect of silent EV-only progress. At launch, the petrol line-up comprises a four-cylinder P300 and a powerful six-cylinder P400, featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology. Alternatively, customers can choose from a pair of four-cylinder types of diesel – the D200 and powerful D240.
New Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable. It introduces Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The next-generation touchscreen is intuitive and user-friendly, requiring few inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses. In addition, the new Defender takes Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology to a new level, with 14 individual modules capable of receiving remote updates. By downloading data while customers are asleep at home or in far-flung locations, the new Defender will get better with age: as electronic updates cascade down to the vehicle immediately, without delay and with no need to visit a Land Rover retailer.