New Land Rover Defender: the definition of durability

Like the legendary models before it, the all-new Land Rover Defender is built for adventurous hearts; an icon reimagined for the 21st century and still existing within a category of its own.

Land Rover has defined all-terrain capability and toughness from the conception of its very first 4x4.

The Series and Defender generations have proven themselves across decades, going above and beyond for all sorts of drivers in all sorts of environments. The all-new Defender is set to take the much-loved characteristics of Land Rover’s heritage off-roader and reimagine them for the 21st century.

Like the legendary models before it, the all-new Land Rover Defender is built for adventurous hearts; an icon reimagined for the 21st century and still existing within a category of its own. 

The unmistakable silhouette is familiar yet new, whether witnessed in the wilds of Namibia, where the carmaker recently explored with the world’s media along for the adventure, or on a busy urban motorwayThe Defender looks tough and is tough – but has been designed with purpose and engineered to excite.  

Across seven decades of pioneering innovation, Land Rovers have earned a unique place in the hearts of explorers, humanitarian agencies and adventurous families across the world. Proven in the harshest environments on Earth, the new Defender maintains this bloodline.  

Beside the peerless luxury and refinement of the Range Rover family and the highly capable and versatile Discovery SUVs, the all-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 within the next 12 months 

A distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles. Land Rover’s designers re-envisioned familiar Defender trademarks for the 21st century, giving the new 4x4 a purposeful 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.  

“The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it,” said Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, Jerry McGovern. 

“This is a new Defender for a new age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4x4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”  

The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, where structural elements and fixings usually hidden from view have been exposed, with the emphasis on simplicity and practicality. Innovative features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional centre 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. Amazingly, the new 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. 

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 manufacturer put the new Defender through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUVs and passenger cars. 

During development testing, prototype models covered millions of kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from 50-degree desert heat and the sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic, to altitudes of 10,000ft 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 the Defender has all the hardware required (and expected) to excel in the soft sand of the desert, the freezing tundra of the arctic and everywhere in between.  

Configurable Terrain Response debuts on the 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 291mm and world-class off-road geometry, giving the 110 model approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (Off-Road height) respectively. Its maximum wading depth of 900mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system, which ensures drivers can ford deep water with complete confidence.  

On dry land, Land Rover’s advanced ClearSight Ground View technology helps drivers take full advantage of Defender’s all-conquering capability by showing the area usually hidden by the bonnet, directly ahead of the front wheels, on the central touchscreen. 

As a result, the new Defender redefines breadth of capability, raising the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort. It can negotiate crowded city streets as effortlessly as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and withstanding freezing temperatures. Its carefully honed handling delivers both a rewarding drive and first-class long-haul comfort across all terrains. 

A choice of advanced petrol and cleaner diesel engines ensure the new Defender has the power, control and efficiency for any environment, while a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain will join the Defender range for the first time, providing the prospect of silent EV-only progress. 

This news underlines the idea of the new Defender being as technologically advanced as it is durable.  

The new model introduces Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system: a next-generation touchscreen that is intuitive and user-friendly and requires few inputs to perform frequently used tasks. 

In addition, the latest 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. 

The model range comprises Defender, First Edition and top of the range Defender X models, as well as standard, S, SE, HSE specification packs. Customers will be able to personalise their vehicle in more ways than any previous Land Rover with four Accessory Packs. The ‘Explorer’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Country’ and ‘Urban’ packs each give Defender a distinct character with a specially selected range of enhancements. 

In addition to the Accessory Packs, the new Defender is available with the widest choice of individual accessories ever assembled for a new Land Rover, with everything from a Remote Control Electric Winch, Rooftop Tent and Inflatable Waterproof Awnings to more conventional tow bar systems and roof racks available. 

“The new Defender gives us the licence to do things differently, to push the boundaries and do the unthinkable, without ever losing the character and authenticity of the original,” said Jaguar Land Rover’s Executive Director of Product Engineering, Nick Rogers. 

“The result is not only the most capable Land Rover ever made, but also a truly comfortable, modern vehicle that people will love to drive." 

Ahead of the model’s arrival in New Zealand, fans and customers can utilise an intuitive online configurator in order to personalise the new Defender to their own liking. To choose a perfect specification go to www.landrover.com/Defender 

New Zealand market Land Rover Defenders are expected to arrive later in 2020with the local range beginning at $89,900 + ORCs. 

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