Land Rover has finally unveiled the all-new Defender at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019. The British marque stated that the 110 is just the start and will be swiftly followed by a compact, short wheelbase 90, before a pair of practical commercial models join the line-up in 2020.
According to Land Rover, the new silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognizable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles. Land Rover’s designers re-envisioned familiar Defender trademarks for the 21st century, giving the new 4×4 a purposeful upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and externally-mounted spare wheel that make the original so identifiable.
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it. This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”
Furthermore, the personality of the original Defender has been embraced on the inside, where structural elements and fixings are usually hidden from view, have been exposed. Other features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional central front ‘jump’ seat, which provides three-abreast seating across the front like early Land Rovers.
As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations, with a loadspace behind the second-row seats of up to 1075 litres, and as much as 2380 litres when the second row is folded. The Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family hatchback.
Land Rover has fitted the all-new Defender with a new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture which is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction. It is the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. It is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, providing perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension and supports the latest electrified powertrains.
To keep the all-new Defender true to its roots, it gets permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential.
Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Defender, allowing experienced off-roaders to tune individual vehicle settings to suit the conditions, while inexperienced drivers can let the system detect the most appropriate vehicle settings for the terrain, using the intelligent Auto function.
The new body architecture provides ground clearance of 291 mm and world-class off-road geometry, giving the 110 approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (Off Road height) respectively. Its maximum wading depth of 900 mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system.
The all-new Land Rover Defender comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. However, a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain will join the range next year.
At launch, the petrol line-up comprises a four-cylinder P300 and a powerful six-cylinder P400, featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology. Alternatively, customers can choose from a pair of four-cylinder diesels – the D200 and powerful D240.
The new Defender has been introduced with Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. Land Rover claims this next-generation touchscreen is intuitive and user-friendly, requiring few inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses.
In addition to this, the new Defender takes Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology to a new level, with 14 individual modules capable of receiving remote updates. By downloading data while customers are asleep at home or in far-flung locations, the new Defender will get better with age: as electronic updates cascade down to the vehicle immediately, without delay and with no need to visit a Land Rover retailer.
Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’ve embraced Defender’s stunning capability and minimalistic, functional interior to reinvent the icon for the 21st century. New Defender gives us the licence to do things differently, to push the boundaries and do the unthinkable, without ever losing the character and authenticity of the original. From the start we had an absolute obsession with functionality beneath the skin, from choosing the right materials through to state of the art connectivity. The result is not only the most capable Land Rover ever made, but also a truly comfortable, modern vehicle that people will love to drive.”
Felix Bräutigam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “New Defender will be available in 128 global markets and meets or exceeds the toughest emissions and safety requirements in the world. Combining advanced technology and durable mechanical underpinnings we have delivered the toughness and character you can only find in a Defender. Our new 4×4 has been developed for adventurous hearts and curious minds. With four personalities to choose from, two body styles and a comprehensive range of options and accessories, customers will be able to personalise Defender to make their ultimate 4×4 companion – whatever their lifestyle.”