The new Land Rover Defender brings advanced tech, proper off-roading ability and starting price of £40k
There were dozens of top-line car launches in 2019, but there’s no doubt what the biggest arrival was, based on your feedback and the number of you that visited our pages on autoexpress.co.uk. The reborn Land Rover Defender was clearly our star of 2019. Now, with the 90 and 110 models on sale priced from £40,000, it’s time to see how the new Defender goes down with the people who really matter, the car buying public.
The design and engineering teams at Land Rover had an unenviable task when setting out to create a new Defender. The model had been at the heart of the brand ever since it was the basis for the firm’s creation in 1948. And while production of the ‘original’ Land Rover ended in 2016, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth called it “the saddest moment of my life”.
As such, the crowds clamoured onto the Land Rover stand at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show to witness the return of the iconic nameplate. And at precisely 10.05am on Tuesday 10 September, the music blared, a ramp folded down from the top of the stage and a Defender 110 drove down it. There had been leaks beforehand but even so, the accompanying applause as the covers came off was loud and long.
“I often have conversations with traditionalists and they’ll say, ‘Oh, don’t change it, just make it like it is.’ But it wasn’t relevant any more. That car, great as it was, was designed for a different time. People were smaller and the amount of comfort people expect in their cars has changed. But it’s a fact that this is the toughest and most capable Defender ever made.”
The car in our pictures is a 110, the five-door version of the new model. The three-door 90 is now also on sale and a Defender commercial vehicle variant will follow, if leaked internal documents are to be believed, a longer 130 model with extra load capacity beyond the sixth and seventh seats, is also in the pipeline.
Despite the evolution, the new car’s profile is unmistakably Defender, with the distinctive bonnet and strong roofline, not to mention the spare wheel sited on the side-opening tailgate. This alone presented an engineering challenge, in fact, because the larger wheels being offered on the new model required new structural capabilities.
Inside, the Defender gets a sophisticated new electronics architecture that offers the latest smartphone connectivity, but is also future-proofed by over-the-air upgradability. The dominant feature on the fascia is the central, exposed magnesium crossbeam – a structural component which, Land Rover claims, you could use to move the car if you tugged it hard enough. It’s more likely to be useful because of its integrated grab handles.
New Land Rover Defender: engine and prices
The engine line-up comprises two petrols, one with mild-hybrid technology, and a couple of diesels. The P300 is the regular four-cylinder petrol, with 296bhp, while the bigger sellers are likely to be the D200 (197bhp) and D240 (237bhp) diesels. The hybrid is the P400, which has a straight-six turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine.
Early feedback from potential customers has already persuaded Land Rover to tweak the line-up. In particular, demand for the retro-look 18-inch steel wheels extends far beyond the entry-level edition of the car on which they are offered – so engineers are working on larger ‘steelies’ that can be available to buyers of S, SE and HSE models.
Even so, Land Rover is confident that it has enough accessories to appeal to almost every taste. The options include everything from a side ladder to a roof tent, and four core packs will be available to give every Defender a distinct flavour – from extreme off-roader to urban runabout.
The Defender costs from £40,290 for the three-door 90 model and £45,240 for a 110 equipped with the same D200 diesel engine – and if money is less of a concern, the prices extend up to an eye-watering £78,800 for a P400 X 110. There’s even scope for significant extra expense on options beyond that point.
see original post at: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/land-rover/defender/19933/new-2020-land-rover-defender-full-details-specs-and-pics