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Land Rover makes no apologies with its timeless new off-roader

16 Nov 2007

THE notion of a ‘new’ Defender seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Just look at it – same slabby sides, flat windscreen and sharp-edge boxiness as the 59-year old original that has doggedly remained purpose-built to go further than virtually any modern 4x4 can. But does the introduction of a new engine, gearbox, dashboard, seating, and sundry other refinements jeopardise one of the world’s most loved off-roaders? Is the latest, classic Defender still the real thing, or has Land Rover made it all soft and civilised?
Model release date: 1 November 2007 to 1 November 2008

Previous model

Land Rover L316 Defender

Released: 1999
Ended: 2006
Family Tree: Defender

LAND ROVER decided that a new heart was needed for its half-century-old workhorse to see in the new millennium, so in went a 90kW/300Nm version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel and five-speed manual gearbox combination introduced in the early 1990s. Three wheelbase sizes were offered – with the 2360mm ‘90’ joining the long-established 2794mm ‘110’ wagon and cab-chassis and 3226mm ‘130’ cab-chassis and crew cab-chassis utility models from 2003 to 2006.

The Extreme variants brought more equipment with them, while a Tomb Raider edition in 2001 coincided with the release of the Hollywood movie of the same name.

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