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The new Land Rover Defender can negotiate traffic, move homes, be an excellent highway cruiser and even beat a Mars rover in an off-road competition
The Land Rover Defender has earned a unique place in the hearts of humanitarian agencies, military, farmers and even Her Majesty the Queen. It traces its roots back to 1948, when it was one of the world’s first four-wheel-drive SUVs. After being in continuous production for a staggering 33 years, Land Rover stopped the production of the Defender due to tighter emission regulations. Fast forward by four years and the all-new Defender is here. Land Rover claims it’s the most advanced SUV the brand has ever built in its seven-decade history. Here are some interesting facts about the re-imagined icon.
The New Defender is based on Land Rover’s D7x (for extreme) architecture based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction which is the stiffest body structure the British SUV-maker has ever made. It’s three times stiffer than traditional body on frame designs and provide an ideal foundation for other chassis components like suspension and powertrains.
According to Land Rover, the Defender prototypes were put through some of the harshest testing the brand had ever conducted. The Defender went through 62,000 engineering tests and the prototypes covered millions of kilometres across the planet, ranging from scorching desert heat and sub 40 degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10,000 feet in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
The new Defender is arguably the best production 4X4 SUV on the planet. It has a 291mm ground clearance and a 900mm wading depth. There’s of course permanent all-wheel-drive system with a low range gearbox working in tandem with centre and optional active locking rear differentials. Taking matters further, the under-chassis camera and the front camera showcase what’s under and ahead of the SUV improving safety. And then there’s of course the Terran Response system that will configure the powertrain, steering, differentials and traction control to suit the driving conditions.
For the first time ever, the Defender will be available in a mild hybrid variant. It will be offered with the P400 trim which gets a six-cylinder 400hp engine. There’s also a 7kW eSupercharger that uses stored energy from the 48V battery to increase air-pressure within the turbocharger, minimising turbo lag. Sadly, India will only get the standard P300, that gets a 300hp 2-litre Ingenium turbocharged petrol engine good for 400Nm of torque.
The 110 is a seven-seater while the 90 can seat up to 6 thanks to the foldable centre console in the front that doubles up as a cup holder and a seat. It’s also available with four accessory packs – Adventure, Country, Explorer and Urban. The SUV has a dynamic load carrying capacity of 168kg and static load bearing capacity of 300kg, if at all your rooftop tent is that heavy. Don’t mistake this for towing capacity, because that is a lot higher at 3.5 tonnes!