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Frankfurt show: Land Rover reveals reborn Defender

Order books open for Land Rover’s new Defender, with 110 due mid-2020 from $70K

Land Rover logo11 Sep 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.

 

A two-door 90 body style will be added late next year, anticipated to start at about $50,000 although pricing will be confirmed in the second quarter.

 

A First Edition will also be made available, but details for the Australian market are still to be ironed out.

 

A large amount of information about the reinvented off-road wagon was drip-fed and ultimately leaked ahead of its unveiling, but Defender’s official unveiling still managed to be a momentous occasion for Land Rover enthusiasts the world over, who can now pore over the details of what the British manufacturer describes as “an icon reimagined for the 21st century”.

 

Just as importantly for Jaguar Land Rover Australia, the Defender is not merely aimed at diehard Landie owners and bush-bashers, but a broad range of new buyers lured into the fold by the modern engineering and rugged charm, bringing important additional sales volume to the brand.

 

There is no body-on-frame chassis construction – a big point for many pundits – but this is billed as the most capable off-road vehicle Land Rover has ever built, springing from a “purpose-engineered” D7x platform (‘x’ denoting ‘extreme’) that is a reworked version of JLR’s existing aluminium monocoque modular architecture.

 

The body structure is claimed to be the stiffest Land Rover has ever produced – three times that of a body-on-frame design – that supports fully independent or coil-sprung suspension and, to keep this new series chugging along for many years, supports the latest electrified powertrains.

 

To that end, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain will become available overseas next year, while at launch the powertrain line-up comprises a single petrol and two diesel engines, all driving through an eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel-drive system with low-range reduction and centre locking differential. An active locking rear differential is optional.

 

The petrol is a 294kW/550Nm 3.0-litre inline-six with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, while the oil-burners are based on a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in two states of tune – 147kW (D200) and 177kW (D240), both with maximum torque of 430Nm.

 

Official figures show the petrol version of the 110 can reach 100km/h from standstill in 6.1 seconds, on its way to a 191km/h top speed (or 208km/h with a Performance pack fitted), while its fuel economy on the NEDC combined cycle comes in at 9.6 litres per 100km. CO2 emissions stand at 220 grams per kilometre.

 

The diesels are a bit slower, needing 9.1s (D240) or 10.3s (D200) to reach 100km/h and topping out at 188km/h or 175km/h respectively, but their environmental performance is better with both at 7.6L/100km and 199g/km.

 

The figures reflect the fact that this is a big 2.3-tonne vehicle, equipped to manage extreme conditions, to meet modern safety requirements and, with its move upmarket, to cosset its occupants while still managing clearances of up to 291mm and wading depths up to 900mm, the latter supported by a new ‘Wade’ program in the Terrain Response 2 4WD system.

 

This is among a variety of electronic devices built into the new Defender, and many are configurable for the first time. Via the central touchscreen, the driver can also now see the ground area directly in front of the wheels, which is usually hidden by the bonnet, as the vehicle ploughs ahead on trails and its “world-class” off-road geometry comes into play, aided by approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively.

 

JLR has confirmed that Australian-spec vehicles will come with a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, while other relevant weights include a payload of up to 900kg and static roof load of up to 300kg.

 

The 110 will offer three seating configurations – five, six or seven – including three across the front just like Land Rovers of yore with the optional centre ‘jump seat’ employed. The load space behind the second row offers up to 1075 litres, increasing to as much as 2380L when folded.

 

Just as the exterior design is meant to look familiar, and tough, even as its drag coefficient improves to 0.38Cd, the new Defender’s cabin draws on its heritage with rubberised flooring and exposed structural elements and fixings.

 

Modern-era highlights include a new-generation Pivi Pro infotainment system accessed from a 10.0-inch touchscreen.

 

The international model range will comprise Defender, First Edition and flagship Defender X models, as well as standard, S, SE and HSE trim levels. A variety of accessory packs have also been developed – Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban – with extra equipment to suit each application.

 

Some 170 individual accessories are in the catalogue, including a large retractable fabric sunroof, electric winch, rooftop tent, inflatable waterproof awnings and a satin protective film designed to make the exterior paintwork more durable.

 

The Australian line-up is still to be confirmed, but with JLR Australia moving away from offering a vast number of variants, expect a carefully tailored range to be made available.


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