After you have walked around its silhouette drawn at right angle on all terrains, battlefields and the Champs Elysées for decades, the good old “Land” is gone for a well-deserved retirement. Succession happens and the new Defender keeps to the same recipe… only better ?
Difficult to replace a historical monument, such as the Defender. Released initially there are more than 70 years and after having seen it all, done everything, seen it all, he was finally caught up by the standards anti-pollution, crash tests and other tâtillonneries administrative. After 3 years of interruption, and development of the new model, so here is the replacement, which is also the name of Defender.
To replace such a icon, Land Rover has made the wise choice not to do a copy-and-paste servile in the original design. Not syndrome New Beetle here, but a design that is modern, extremely inspired by the concept DC100, which dates from… 2011 ! Yes, many of the details differ, but the drawing as a whole is not that new.
It is inevitably a question of a Land Rover, the grille and the shapes rectilinear attest to that, as discrete reminders of the old Defender : light signature in a circle, boss hood vents on this hood. It even keeps the trunk opening on the side, but little practice in common use.
Where it stands out, it is in the design of the C-pillar, the rear quarter panel, concealed by a large square completely opaque. What the instantly recognize in the crowd of SUV’s, but you can also attach a variety of accessories such as watertight compartments. The spirit of the adventurer remains present !
The Defender will be at launch in 2 chassis lengths : 90 (wheelbase of 2.59 cm and a length of 4.32 m) and 110 (respectively 3,02 m and 4,76 m). What can offer a version with 2 doors, the competitor Mercedes G-Class has to offer. Chassis-long-130 ” will make its appearance later. As they say in rugby : “fundamentals-first” approach, and the Defender does not deadlock : front overhang and back very short, ground clearance of 291 mm, angles of 38°, departure angle of 40°, and the crossing of the fords of the 90-cm depth. Let’s hope that these brilliant capabilities will be used for something other than to climb the sidewalks.
The chassis adopts a new structure, aluminum monocoque, far removed from the ancient chassis separated from the first Defender. The engines will be the number 5 at launch, with there also an update to the technology : 4-cylinder 2-liter diesel of 200 and 240 hp, 6 cylinder diesel engine 3-liter 300-hp and in essence we find a 4-cylinder 2-liter and 300 hp and a 6-cylinder 3-litre 400 hp mild hybrid system 48 V. hybrid versions rechargeable arrive later in the range.
In the cabin, it is at first sight a revolution : digital instrumentation, touch screen, wooden inserts, leather-trimmed seats, an increase in the range seems to be obvious. And yet, Land Rover has chosen to keep the visible screws, the possibility to wash the floor mats to the jet or expose ostensibly the structure of the dashboard. Simple style effect can be, the story of how “rustic”, but it is not less true that the Defender is not as luxurious as the Range or even the Velar. The 110 may be arranged in configurations 5, 6, or even 7 seater.
The rates for the Defender are already known : the 110 will be displayed from 55 900 € and the 90 will ask you for 49 900 €. The configurator of the Defender is already online at this address. Has you the joy of installing a roof rack, tent folding and other schnorkel, because yes, the Defender always allows all that !
Photo credits : Land Rover