World-class expert off and on-road: New Land Rover Defender redefines breadth of capability, all-terrain ability is beyond question, on-road comfort adds to its character

This is the new Land Rover Defender. An icon reimagined for the 21st century, it is clever, capable and safe for all the family, and in a category of its own, built for adventurous hearts and curious minds, for those who know the value of community and strive to make a difference.

The unmistakable silhouette is familiar yet new. It looks tough and is tough but designed with purpose and engineered to excite. Iconic in name, shape and capability, Defender can be personalised to allow owners to make the most of their world.

Across seven decades of pioneering innovation, Land Rovers have earned a unique place in the hearts of explorers, humanitarian agencies and adventurous families across the world. Proven in the harshest environments on earth, the new Defender maintains this bloodline.

Beside the peerless luxury and refinement of the Range Rover family and the highly capable and versatile Discovery SUVs, new Defender completes the Land Rover dynasty. The 110 is just the start for this family of the most capable and durable 4x4s in the world. It will be swiftly followed by a compact, short wheelbase 90.

Driven by a passion and respect for the original, new Defender delivers a transformational breadth of capability. Advanced all-terrain technologies redefine adventure for the 21st century, remaining true to the pioneering spirit that has been a Land Rover hallmark for 71 years.

A distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, 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.”

The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, where structural elements and fixings usually hidden from view have been exposed, with the emphasis on simplicity and practicality. Innovative 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 1,075 litres, and as much as 2,380-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.

User-friendly features include practical touches and advanced technological innovations. Durable rubberised flooring shrugs off the spills of daily adventures and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions, providing a brush or wipe clean interior. An optional full-length Folding Fabric Roof provides an open-top feel. It also allows passengers in the second-row seats of the Defender 110 to stand up when parked to provide the full safari experience**.

Land Rover’s new purpose engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create 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.

The new Defender has been through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.

During development testing, prototype models have covered millions of kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from the 50-degree heat of the desert and sub-40-degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10,000ft in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

A transformational breadth of capability sets new Defender apart. Permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential ensure it has all the hardware required to excel in the soft sand of the desert, the freezing tundra of the arctic and everywhere in between.

Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Defender, allowing experienced off-roaders to fine-tune individual vehicle settings to perfectly 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 291mm 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 900mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system, which ensures drivers can ford deep water with complete confidence.

On dry land, Land Rover’s advanced ClearSight Ground View technology helps drivers take full advantage of Defender’s all-conquering capability by showing the area usually hidden by the bonnet, directly ahead of the front wheels, on the central touchscreen.

As a result, the new Defender redefines breadth of capability, raising the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort. It can negotiate crowded city streets as effortlessly as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and withstanding freezing temperatures. Its carefully honed handling delivers both a rewarding drive and first-class long-haul comfort across all terrains.

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.

At launch, the petrol line-up features 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 – both of which deliver fuel economy of 7.6 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 199g/km (NEDC equivalent).

Innovative engineering solutions support the efficiency drive, including a flat underbody which both optimises aerodynamic performance (as low as 0.38Cd) and protecting the vehicle’s underbody.

New Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable. It introduces Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The 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, 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.”

New Defender 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 model range comprises Defender, First Edition and top of the range Defender X models, as well as standard, S, SE specification packs. 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 with a specially selected range of enhancements. The exclusive First Edition model features a unique specification and will be available throughout the first year of production.

Customers will also be able to opt for a new Satin Protective Film to make the exterior paintwork even more durable. The sustainable, solvent-free and completely recyclable wrap helps protect against everything from car park scratches to bramble rash and will be available as a factory-fit option with Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone and Pangea Green colours, providing a unique contemporary finish as it protects new Defender’s paintwork.

In addition to the Accessory Packs, new Defender is available with the widest choice of individual accessories ever assembled for a new Land Rover, with everything from a Remote Control Electric Winchº, Rooftop Tent and Inflatable Waterproof Awnings to more conventional tow bar systems and roof racks.

Jaguar Land Rover NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says they expect strong support for the next evolution of the Defender in this market.

“The iconic Defender epitomises the unstoppable off-road capability of Land Rover and for many, it is synonymous with experiencing the extremes of New Zealand’s most rugged terrain,

“The new Land Rover Defender integrates decades of Defender DNA and combines it with the latest generation technology from the Land Rovers that are produced today.

“Owners will be able to personalise the design of their new vehicle through four distinct accessory packs or by selecting from 170 individual accessories – the biggest range ever produced for a Land Rover.

“The new Defender is as practical as it is tough and can be further adapted to fit the requirements of a family with seating options available for five, six or seven passengers,” he says.

Kenchington says the new model will be one of their most anticipated in recent times and will see limited stock made available across the globe.

“We are advising our New Zealand customers to contact their authorised Jaguar Land Rover retailer to register their interest early,” he says.

Pricing and delivery timing for the new Defender will be announced in the coming weeks.

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