Land Rover Defender gets a comprehensive list of updates

On offer is a range of petrol and diesel engines now with hybrid alternatives, as well as options for the interiors, exteriors and even separate wheelbase and body designs
The MY2021 Land Rover Defender family
The MY2021 Land Rover Defender familyLand Rover

Land Rover has added a new Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) model – the P400e – to the Defender lineup. This all-new model combines the 2.0-litre inline-four petrol engine with a 105kW electric motor to deliver 398.4bhp and substantial torque alongside lowered running costs. And that’s not all, as alongside the new P400e, Land Rover has also introduced the 3-litre inline-six Ingenium diesel engine to the Defender range.

There’s also the Defender X-Dynamic, featuring a range of tough exterior design options and unique interior fittings, bridging the gap between Defender and Defender X models, new X-Dynamic. And topping it all off is the Defender Hart Top, that hard-working, no-nonsense SUV with its roots firmly embedded in the brand’s storied past.

The ease of personalising the Defender has grown too, with new paint schemes, including Yulong White, Silicon Silver and Carpathian Grey, and a choice of contrast roof finishes. A selection of individual options are also now available, including the Folding Fabric Roof for the Defender 110 and the choice of a Suspension Pack on Defender 90 while Premium LED headlights, Meridian Sound System, Head-Up Display are all optionally available.

So let’s break it down to bite-sized bits, shall we?

Defender P400e Plug-In Hybrid

The new P400e Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) variant, as mentioned, is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 296bhp and a 105kW electric motor powered by a 19.2kWh battery, delivering a combined output of 398.4bhp. This means the P400e has a 0-100kmph time of 5.6 seconds and can reach a top speed of 209kmph.

Besides, it can run in all-electric mode for up to 43km, including off-road where the immediate torque from the electric motor makes the Defender even more capable, while bringing in a new dimension to adventures in the wild. These characteristics are also key to the Defender’s ability to tow – the P400e can tow up to 3000kg, and can carry a roof load of 168kg (dynamic) or 300kg (static).

The Defender P400e is available with the option of five or six seats, standard three-zone climate control, Privacy Glass and Solar Attenuating Glass. Specific to the PHEV variant is regenerative braking, a key technological component in achieving impressive fuel economy, recuperating energy lost under deceleration and braking and sending it back into the battery pack.

Infographic explaining the PHEV tech in the Defender Hybrid
Infographic explaining the PHEV tech in the Defender Hybrid

Standard on all Defender P400e models are 20-inch alloys, Electronic Air Suspension and a charging port located on the left-rear side of the vehicle, where you would usually see the fuel filler lid. All PHEV variants come with a Mode 3 charging cable, which allows for 80 per cent recharge in two hours. A Mode 2 cable, which takes around seven hours to charge to 80 per cent (perfect for home charging overnight) is available as an option. There’s also a 50kW rapid charger, which helps the P400e reach 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes.

Ingenium in-line six-cylinder diesel engine

The Defender can now be had with the new inline-six diesel option from the Ingenium engine family, mated to Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology and the new Intelligent All Wheel Drive system. On offer are three variants: the D200, D240 (which will become the D250 variant in the MY2021) and the D300. All three use a 3-litre inline-six diesel engine, making 197bhp and 500Nm in the D200, 245.5bhp and 570Nm in the D240, and 296bhp and 650Nm the D300. This translates to impressive performance as well, with 0-100kmph times of 10.2 seconds in the D200 and 8.3 seconds in the D 240 (in the Defender 110) guise, while the range-topping D300 does the same in a scant 6.7 seconds, albeit in the Defender 90 avatar.

But there’s more to the new Ingenium diesel engines than brute power, with the MHEV technology contributing to enhanced fuel economy through an efficient Stop/Start system which cuts the engine at a standstill, as well as recuperating energy normally lost under braking or decelerating, which is then sent back into the battery pack to be redeployed later. A key benefit of MHEV is that this energy is used when accelerating, delivering faster responses for greater performance.

Moving now to the Intelligent All Wheel Drive system, it has been programmed to continually vary the axle torque based on sensor data from the vehicle’s surroundings and driver inputs, optimising the driveline for traction, on-road dynamics and efficiency, resulting in improved driving feel irrespective of terrain, all the while keeping emissions in check, and without compromising on fuel economy.

Land Rover describes the Hard Top as 'commercial' and we can't disagree!
Land Rover describes the Hard Top as 'commercial' and we can't disagree!

Defender Hard Top: an ode to the original

Developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, Defender Hard Top is a contemporary reimagining of a Land Rover legend. Avaiable in both 90 and 110 avatars, the Hard Top combines Defender capability with a vast and flexible load area for ultimate practicality and durability­­ – the toughest and most rugged member of the Defender family since the original Land Rover Hard Top models launched in the 1950s.

Under the hood, the Defender Hard Top packs Land Rover’s range of inline-six Ingenium diesel engines including the D200 on the Defender 90, with the D250 and D300 power options on the 110 Hard Top. A range of specification packs are available for 110 Hard Top models, closely reflecting those in the core Defender range with S, SE and HSE each providing a unique combination of ruggedness, comfort and convenience. A choice of suspension options is also available, with passive coil suspension standard on both 90 and 110 Hard Top models, and advanced Electronic Air Suspension available for 110 Hard Top, which gives it a ground clearance is 291mm with a wading depth of up to 900mm and approach, breakover and departure angles of up to 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively in Off-Road Height on the 110 Hard Top.

The Hard Top provides a compelling mix of off-road ability, practicality and cargo space, with an impressive payload of up to 800kg on the 110 Hard Top and a towing capacity of up to 3500kg with a flexible interior layout. With no second- or third-row seats, the Defender 110 Hard Top offers a load area of up to 2059 litres (1,355 litres for the 90 Hard Top), while the option of the first-row jump seat means it can take up to three occupants in the front. Further, the load area features a fixed-height load partition with hooks, lashing points to the load floor, lockable underfloor storage, heavy duty rubber loadspace mats and brighter loadspace illumination, as well as an exterior utility panel that’s perfect for individual customer signage. And even with the luggage piled up to the roof, Land Rover’s ClearSight Rear View camera technology ensures an uncompromised view out the rear at all times.

Defender X-Dynamic

New X-Dynamic trim expands the choice of specifications in the Defender range, with a suite of enhancements to deliver a tougher look and feel, courtesy the exterior accents, including Silicon Satin front and rear skid pans, with matching grille bar and badging plus Rear Recovery Loops in Satin Black. All alloy wheels come in Satin Dark Grey/Gloss Black finish, alongside Narvik Black mirror caps, window decals and lower sill and wheel arch cladding.

Inside, unique elements include illuminated metal treadplates and Robustec seat material in Duotone colour finish with Robustec ribbon accent and Console Finishers. Robustec, as the name suggests, is a highly robust, hard-wearing and abrasion-resistant material inspired by workman’s gloves, patches on motorbike jackets, and textiles used in extreme outdoor situations.

The Robustec material is standard on all X-Dynamic models in a range of colourways dependent on the specification pack. Defender X-Dynamic S and SE models feature Duotone Grained Leather with Robustec accent, while the X-Dynamic HSE features Duotone Windsor Leather with Robustec accent. All come in a choice of Ebony, Khaki and Ebony Duotone or Acorn and Lunar Duotone seat colours.

X-Dynamic interior badging and centre console finishers also distinguish the new addition, alongside the Light Grey Cross-Car Beam Powder Coat, Ebony Morzine headlining and Eiger Grey satin door handles.

Iain Gray, Senior Manager, Powertrain Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The advanced new P400e Plug-In Hybrid perfectly balances performance with fuel economy and all-electric off-road capability. The latest model also provides refined and powerful new in-line six-cylinder diesel engines that bring improvements in fuel economy and drivability. They join a comprehensive range of powertrain options for Defender.”

Nick Collins, Vehicle Line Director Defender, Jaguar Land Rover, added to the same, saying, “The Land Rover Defender’s capabilities continue to evolve with a range of powertrain and design enhancements. Defender customers have more choice than ever with a full selection of exterior and interior colours and trims, and choice of the 90 and 110 body designs.”

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