Land Rover Defender is Back and More Awesome Than Ever

Published on September 10, 2019 in Frankfurt by Guillaume Rivard

Following months of anticipation, the all-new Land Rover Defender made its big debut today at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show.

A top choice for global expeditions and humanitarian work for seven decades, this iconic SUV has been reinvented from the ground up, starting with an aluminum D7x platform designed to tackle the most extreme terrains and conditions.

Unique Looks
Physically, the new Defender is instantly recognized as a member of the Land Rover family, yet it boasts a unique silhouette full of boxy shapes. Not a single panel is shared with other models in the lineup. The ultra-short overhangs result in excellent approach and departure angles (38 and 40 degrees, respectively), while the side-hinged tailgate and externally mounted spare tire continue the tradition.

Photo: Land Rover

The Defender X version stands out with contrasting black accents. For the first time on a Land Rover, a satin protective film can be installed during assembly to preserve the body paint. A selection of 12 wheel designs is available, ranging from 18-inch white-painted pressed steel rims to 22-inch Luna alloys.

Two Body Styles
The long-wheelbase Land Rover Defender 110 is available with 5+2 seating, four distinct accessory packs (Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban) and as many as 170 individual accessories, Meanwhile, the smaller Defender 90 comes standard with five seats and offers a full-length folding fabric roof option that allows passengers in the second row to stand up when parked to enjoy the full safari experience. In some cases, a jump seat can be added between the front seats.

Photo: Land Rover

The interior of the Defender is a superb blend of ruggedness and sophistication, with exposed structural elements and a new 10-inch PIVI Pro infotainment system. A 12.3-inch instrument cluster faces the driver. The choice of materials and trims is impressive and allows you to customize the vehicle even more.

Capable Conqueror
The Land Rover Defender also benefits from a new configurable Terrain Response system with wade sensing, a two-speed transfer case, a locking centre differential and an active locking rear differential. The advanced All-Terrain Progress Control and ClearSight Ground View technologies also support drivers in extreme off-road situations, removing the stress of maintaining a low crawl speed and showing the hidden area directly in front of the vehicle using the central touchscreen.

Other remarkable specs include a maximum payload of up to 1,984 pounds (900 kg), a static roof load of up to 661 pounds (300 kg), a towing capacity of 8,201 pounds (3,720 kg) and a wading depth of up to 35.4 inches (900 mm). Let’s not forget the 11.5 inches (291 mm) of ground clearance.

Photo: Land Rover

As for the powertrain, customers in Canada will have two options: the four-cylinder turbo P300 with 296 horsepower and the 395-horsepower P400 featuring an inline six-cylinder and mild hybrid technology. The former accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds and the latter does it in 6.1 seconds.

Many more high-tech gadgets and driving aids are part of the mix and we’ll try to cover them in a detailed review following our first contact with the Defender, which shouldn’t take long.

Built in Slovakia, the new Land Rover Defender 110 will go on sale next spring, while the Defender 90 will be available later in 2020. Pricing starts at $65,300 in base S trim and reaches $93,600 for the Defender X. Pricing starts at $65,300 in S trim and climbs to $93,600 for the X version.

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