THE hotly anticipated new Land Rover Defender has finally been officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
An icon reimagined for the 21century, Jaguar Land Rover says it has been engineered with capability and safety for all the family at its heart.
The 110 unveiled in Germany is just the start for this family of 4x4s. It will be swiftly followed by a short wheelbase 90, before a pair of practical commercial models join the line-up next year.
Priced from £45,240 on-the-road, the model range comprises Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top of the range Defender X models and customers will be able to personalise their vehicle with four accessory packs - Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. Each give the 4x4 a distinct character with a specially selected range of enhancements.
Customers can also 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.
As well as 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 winch, rooftop tent and inflatable waterproof awnings to more conventional tow bar systems and roof racks.
A distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles. The new 4x4 has 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.
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 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family hatchback.
User-friendly features include durable rubberised flooring, providing a brush or wipe clean interior. An optional Folding Fabric Roof provides an open-top feel and allows passengers in the second-row seats of the 110 to stand up when parked.
Land Rover's new purpose-engineered D7x architecture is 95 per cent new and 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.
Configurable Terrain Response debuts on the 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 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.
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.
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 - both of which deliver fuel economy of 37.2mpg and COemissions of 199g/km.
JLR says the new Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable and introduces the 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.
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.