Published on March 30th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
New Land Rover Defender Proves its Mettle in Namibia
Much has been said about the new Land Rover Defender, and while most of it is not negative, the buzz surrounding the new Defender certainly has been of the doubtful sort.
Compared to the model it replaces, the new Defender lacks many of the simple but robust features that make up part of its brand. No body-on-frame chassis. No live axles. Overall, the new Defender has more complex electronics and luxury options than ever before.
But Land Rover didn’t have much of a choice. Very few other serious off-roaders can retain their simplicity and remain economically viable. In fact, the biggest problem for manufacturers are safety and emissions regulations. Even the relatively simple Suzuki Jimny is being threatened by that.
So Land Rover did what they had to do and produced a safer, cleaner Defender for the 2020s and beyond. Of course it will never be as simple as the previous model, but it’s certainly capable. To prove that, the company has done all kinds of stunts, including its OWN stunts in the upcoming Bond film.
And to prove just how reliably their cars could do extreme off-roading, Land Rover recently organised an expedition across Namibia. There, a small fleet of new Defender 110 SUVs conquered rocks, mud and sand with little to no support.
Here’s more information about the new Defender 110.
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 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 Folding Fabric Roof provides an open-top feel and allows passengers in the second-row seats of the 110 to stand up when parked to provide the full safari experience.
The definition of durability
Land Rover’s new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) 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.
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 more than 1.2 million 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 world-class expert off and on-road
Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Land Rover 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.
Power and efficiency
A choice of advanced petrol and cleaner diesel engines ensure new Land Rover 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 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 (7.6 l/100km) and CO2 emissions of 199g/km (NEDC equivalent).
Innovative engineering solutions support the efficiency drive, including a flat underbody which optimises aerodynamic performance across the line-up.
21st century technology
New Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable and introduces Jaguar Land Rover’s 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, 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.