Land Rover unveils all-new version of its iconic Defender

Marco Green
September 11, 2019

AUSTRALIAN order books have opened in conjunction with the full reveal in Frankfurt this week of Land Rover's long-anticipated new-generation Defender, with indicative pricing of $70,000 plus on-road costs announced for the four-door 110 version due to reach showrooms in June 2020. There's also the short-wheelbase three-door 90 variant that will be available by the end of this year, while there is also a larger 130 variant scheduled for a debut sometime next year with an even larger eight-seater option. The exterior carries the same rugged looks as that of the iconic model.

There are few SUVs more famous than the Land Rover Defender, the classic off-roader.

The vehicle will follow a phased roll-out with the larger Defender 110 expected to launch in the first half of the year, followed by the smaller Defender 90 later in the year. The folding fabric roof, a side ladder, roof-mounted tent, and side window carriers add to the versatility. While the vehicle hasn't been sold in the USA in 22 years, it was sold in other countries until 2016, when Land Rover ceased production of the Defender entirely.

Novelty is equipped with a modular platform D7x, and ground clearance increased to 291 mm. This infotainment system is said to be more intuitive and user-friendly to use. There's also 900mm of wading depth on offer through the new wade program in the Terrain Response 2 system.

The Defender will be offered with a color palette unique to the model, Land Rover said. This stiff aluminum structure can accommodate electrified powertrains.

Other features include "ClearSight" ground view that shows the ground in front of the Defender, and a feature that lets drivers set their preferred off-road settings.

It has driver-assistance tech like other upscale vehicles, but some of the features are designed for off-roading. It will also be highly customisable when it comes to trims and specifications.

The new Defender has been reborn as a mainstream model for the global market, taking heavy design and capability cues from the iconic original model, which was withdrawn from sale in 2016, after 68 years since it was first introduced.

On top of the PHEV, there's a mild-hybrid Defender that will pump out 397 horsepower and hit 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, less than half the time of the last Defender, a 2015 Europe-only model. There are two petrol and one diesel engines from JLR's Ingenium line-up. The diesel engine options include the 200 PS D200 unit and the 240 PS D240 unit, both of which are four-cylinder. This makes it the ideal vehicle for Land Rover enthusiasts who feel the company may have strayed too far from signature design aesthetic.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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