Love it or hate it, the new Land Rover is here and there is no going back. This is possibly one of the toughest jobs any car manufacturer has had to do, i.e. to reinterpret a 71 year old icon. Land Rover think they have done that with a new design that “has been inspired by the past, not constrained by it” per Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern. The new Land Rover is available in short (90) and long (110) body designs and it arrives in South Africa in 2020. This is what you should know:
A distinctive shape makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs which have been designed to provide excellent approach and departure angles. The new 4×4 has a purposefully upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and externally-mounted spare wheel much like the original Defender.
Innovative features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional central front ‘jump’ seat, which provides seating for three 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 which goes up to 2,380-litres when the second row is folded down. The Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants.
New infotainment and technology
The new Defender will introduce Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The next generation touchscreen is said to be more intuitive and user-friendly, requiring fewer inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses.
The new Defender is said to be extremely capable off-road with Configurable Terrain Response debuting on new the Defender. This system allows drivers to choose the appropriate terrain mode or leave it up to the car to decide. Latter will come in handy for inexperienced drivers.
The new body architecture provides ground clearance of 291mm and world-class off-road geometry, giving the 110 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.
In South Africa, the Defender is expected to be launched with a petrol and a diesel engine. More diesel engines will follow later with the launch of the 90 model. The petrol engine will be a 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder P400 featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology with outputs of 294kW and 550Nm. The diesel engine will be a 2.0-litre D240 turbodiesel with 177kW and 430Nm.
Your own Defender
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 choose between four Accessory Packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban Packs. An exclusive First Edition model with a unique specification will be available in the first year of production.
Customers will also be able to opt for a new Satin Protective Film to make the exterior paintwork even more durable. This will be available as a factory-fit option in Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone and Pangea Green colours.
In addition to the Accessory Packs, Land Rover says the new Defender 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.
Indicative pricing for the new Defender is as follows:
Land Rover Defender 90: R830,300; and
Land Rover Defender 90: R910,400.
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