One of the most eagerly awaited unveilings in automotive history took place last week when the wraps finally came off the all-new Land Rover Defender. The importance of the Defender cannot be over-estimated - indeed without it there would be no Land Rover. However, replacing a vehicle that had a special place in so many hearts is no mean feat, some might say an impossible task.
The old Defender was lauded for its tough basic interior that could be literally hosed out and put away wet. The new Defender has a much plusher interior with four trim levels and four accessory packs and a multiple array of options. But the interior design has been ‘toughened up’ with exposed bolt heads and materials and finishes that are more ‘wipe-clean’ than other Land Rover vehicles. The Defender also jumps forwards several generations with technology including a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with over-the-air software updates and the full A-to-Z of driver-assistance systems.
There are options galore for the new Defender. It comes in 90 and 110 sizes for starters, like the previous Defender. The 90 is a three-door option, with access to a second row by folding the front seats forward, but thanks to that optional jump seat you can seat six in it. There's a rear door too, with rear mounted spare wheel, opening up to a functional boot space - of course, depending on whether you're using a second row of seats.
The Defender 110 is likely to be the more popular option for those buying it as a large SUV because of the five-door arrangement. You can have a 5+2 arrangement (like the Discovery), or throw in that additional seat to carry eight, but stick to five seats and you're looking at a boot with some serious capacity at 1075 litres. That those seats fold flat brings practical appeal and 2380 litres of stowage in the 110.
One of the key details that Land Rover has explained is that the move to the new D7x platform is partly to accommodate a range of powertrains in the future - including electric. That's not available on day one and neither is hybrid and we suspect that the diesels will still be the big sellers. Plug-in hybrid is scheduled for 2020. The petrols are the four-cylinder P300 and six-cylinder P400. The 296bhp P300 hits 62mph from a standstill in 8.1sec and is rated at 227g/km for CO2 emissions. The 396bhp P400 uses mild-hybrid technology to deliver 406lb ft of torque, a 0-62mph time of 6.4sec, and CO2 of 220g/km.
In conclusion, this Defender is the most important car in the Land Rover family, mainly because without it, we wouldn’t be treated to these wonderful British mainstays any longer. It kept the company going and is at the forefront of the new era. If you’re a fan of British classics, but enjoy modern technology, then this Land Rover Defender is the perfect car for your needs.
23rd of September 2019