Land Rover Defender for the 21st Century

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The long-awaited new Land Rover Defender has finally been revealed following a dramatic live-action demonstration of its capability at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019.

The replacement of the iconic all-purpose 4×4 made its first appearance by descending an extreme 42-degree incline at the event – a feat broadcast live to a global audience of eager fans. New Defender is said to be the most capable and durable Land Rover ever made and will be available in 90 and 110 body designs, with up to six seats in the 90 and the option of five, six or 5+2 seating in the 110.

The range comprises Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-of-the-range Defender X. Customers will be able to personalise their vehicle in more ways than any previous Land Rover, with four Accessory Packs. The Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban packs each give Defender a distinct character to help owners to make the most of their world. Exclusive First Edition models featuring unique specification will be available throughout the first year of production.

Examples of every character were revealed at Frankfurt, showing the breadth of the Defender family alongside the versatile and durable commercial model, which will be introduced in 90 and 110 body designs next year.

Land Rover’s new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monoque construction to create the stiffest body structure the brand has ever produced.

Three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, it has been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedures and provides the perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension while supporting the latest electrified powertrains.

A choice of advanced petrol and cleaner diesel engines ensure new Defender has the power, control and efficiency for any environment, while a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain will join the range next year providing the prospect of silent EV-only progress.

New Defender features permanent four-wheel drive, a twin-speed automatic gearbox, a maximum towing capability of 3,500kg and a maximum static roof load of 300kg, making it the perfect companion for overland adventures.

Defender is also the first Land Rover to feature Configurable Terrain Response, which allows drivers to fine-tune a range of settings to suit the conditions more precisely than ever before. A new Wade programme optimises the vehicle for fording – giving customers even more confidence when tackling flooded roads and tracks. Defender has a world-class maximum wading depth of up to 900mm.

Inside, the highly functional cabin design is marked out by exposed structural elements and 21st century technologies, including the state-of-the-art new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The next-generation touchscreen is more intuitive and user-friendly, requiring fewer inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses. In addition Software-Over-The-Air technology, with 14 individual modules capable of receiving remote updates, ensures Defender customers always benefit from the latest software, wherever they are in the world.

Commenting on the new design which makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles, 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.”