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Land Rover’s Defender hits 90

Short stuff: Land Rover has resurrected its short-wheelbase Defender 90, this time with a four-cylinder diesel engine.

Venerable Land Rover 4x4 is back in classic short-wheelbase guise again

24 Nov 2009

HOT on the heels of Land Rover Defender’s massive model line-up expansion in July comes the long-awaited 90.

On sale now from $44,990 to take advantage of the federal government’s small business 50 per cent tax break offer that expires at the end of this year, deliveries of the Defender 90 will be made in the first quarter of 2010.

Available in four-seat two-door wagon guise, the Defender 90 sits on a 2360mm wheelbase, shorter than the 2794mm for the 110 models and 3225mm for the long-wheelbase Defender 130 models released in Australia at the tail end of 2007.

Standard features include a dual-range gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive, a locking centre differential, anti-lock brakes, traction control, an anti-stall system and power steering.

Luxuries run to a CD player, air-conditioning, rubber floor mats, electric front windows, remote central locking, a heated rear window, a rear wiper with washer, cloth seats, a cubby box with cupholders, a folding rear step, mud flaps, headlight levelling and a perimetric alarm with an immobiliser.

Based on the heavily re-engineered L316 Defender launched in November 2007, the 90 wagon gains all of the interior and drivetrain refinements of the biggest update of the 1948 Land Rover design to date.

Power comes courtesy of a 2.4-litre 16-valve common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit derived from Ford’s VM Transit van range.

24 center imageMated to a six-speed manual gearbox (the only transmission on offer), it delivers 90kW of power at 2200rpm and 360Nm of torque at 2000rpm – with 315Nm of the latter available from 1500 to 2700rpm.

The combined fuel consumption average is 10 litres per 100 kilometres, while the carbon dioxide emissions rating is 266 grams per kilometre. The tank holds 60 litres.

The 90 wagon’s suspension system is a live beam axle with single rate coil springs, telescopic hydraulic dampers and a Panhard rod, holding up alloy wheels shod with 235/85 R16 tyres.

Its length/width/height measurements are 3894/1790/2021mm front and rear track width is 1486mm ground clearance is rated at 323mm the wading depth maximum is 500mm the approach/ramp breakover/departure/traverse angles are 47/147/47/35 degrees and maximum braked/unbraked towing capacity is 3500/750kg.

Now in its 61st year, almost 1.9 million Defenders have been sold globally, mainly to private buyers, utility service providers and the armed forces. About 25,000 of the current generation have been snapped up since 2007 around the world.

“With the reintroduction of the 90 in Australia, Land Rover now offers nine different Defender derivatives, across three wheel bases. Whatever requirements, be they lifestyle or commercial, Defender has the specialised variant to better suit the off road and load carrying requirements of our customers," says marketing boss Kevin Goult.

"We believe the enhancements to the iconic Defender 90 will win the hearts and minds of new and existing customers alike," he said.

The last time the Defender 90 was sold in Australia was between September 2003 and April 2006, and was powered by a 90kW/300Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel unit.

2010 Land Rover L316 09MY Defender pricing:
90 Station Wagon: $44,990
110 Station Wagon: $48,990
110 Single Cab Chassis: $45,990
110 Single Cab Chassis HCPU: $47,490
110 Hard Top: $45,990
110 Crew Cab Pick Up: $48,990
130 Single Cab Chassis: $47,990
130 Crew Cab Chassis: $51,990
130 Crew Cab HCPU: $53,490

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