Land Rover

Defender – A few things you did not know

A plug-in Hybrid is coming

The engine line up from launch includes a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesels (197bhp or 237bhp), a 296bhp turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a 394bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol inline-six, but a plug-in hybrid is coming. No technical details yet, but a Defender capable of several miles of zero-emissions, battery-powered running will go on sale in 2021. Pitchforks at the ready.

It has clever door skins

The doors are about more than just those fancy exposed rivets for maximum macho, the interior door skins are in fact structural, acting as an anchor for the window motors and door locks on their inner face. As a result, they lose a trim layer, so you get more elbow room. Some might say the interior ergonomics are already a world away from the disaster that was the old Defender.

Terrain Response has many modes

Six pre-sets to be precise – Normal, Wade, Rock Crawl, Mud and Ruts, Grass/Gravel/Snow and Sand – each subtly altering the differentials, throttle response and traction sensitivity to make mincemeat of whatever mother nature has cooked up for you. Alternatively, you can select ‘Auto’ and let the car’s sensors determine the surface you’re on and tweak, accordingly, configure your settings manual and save your preferences. Let’s off-road!

This is how the 48V mild-hybrid system works

Only available on the 394bhp, turbo and s’charged straight-six £78,800 P400 X 110 (or the £74,140 three-door 90 version) the aim is efficiency, not performance. In addition to the engine include a 48V 200Wh lithium-ion battery on the rear axle, an e-supercharger that runs off said battery (and helps to build boost in the turbo quickly to negate lag) and a belt-integrated starter generator that harvests energy when you lift off the throttle to charge the battery and can feed up to 105lb ft of back to the crank to restart the engine and take some of the load of the engine under acceleration. What you might notice is the engine cutting out below 3km/h, before you’ve come to a stop, slight electrical assistance when you take off again and, according to Land Rover, a 6g/km of CO2 saving.

It can update over-the-air

The Defender is now very much a connected car. We’re not just talking about its ability to hook up to a horse box, it has no fewer than 14 ‘modules’ that can be updated over the air using its permanent 4G connection, including the brakes, suspension and engine so Land Rover can continue to improve your car while it sits on your driveway. Updates take around 30 minutes, there’s no need for dealer software updates anymore and problems can be identified and sent automatically to your local workshop so parts can be ordered ahead of time.

It can seat three in the front

Whoop Whoop!  It’s the return of the optional dicky seat we were all hoping for. A normal and extremely broad centre console is fitted as standard, but should you occasionally need space for an extra person, you can swap that out for a third seat in the front. Tick that box ?on the short wheelbase ‘90’ version and that means you’ve got yourself a three-door, six-seat SUV – that’s worth it surely? Folded down, the back of the seat masquerades as a centre console with a couple of the all-important drink holders, a tray for your phone and other bits, and a bank of 12V and USB power outlets. Pull a strap, unfurl it and you’ve got space for three.

By Tracy Davis

Group Marketing

(Facts Courtesy of Top Gear)

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