All you need to know about the new Land Rover DefenderSeptember 10, 2019
In its unchanged form, Land Rover Defender lasted on the assembly line for almost 70 years. And although the cult SUV was actually produced from 1983 to 2016, its history is usually counted from 1948, when the Land Rover Series I was born. The second-generation Defender is unlike either its predecessor or an elderly relative. Now this is a modern car – not as charismatic and old-school as before, but under the ceiling full of electronics and advanced technologies. Whether this has benefited him, we do not know yet, but now we are ready to tell everything about the high-profile premiere of this year.
The predecessor of the current Defender, Land Rover Series I, was born in post-war England as a temporary solution to the financial problems of the Rover Company. An inexpensive and reliable SUV was liked by farmers, businessmen and adventurers, and unexpectedly for its creators, the Wilks brothers, became very popular. The angular body shape, primitive by today’s standards, was dictated by the then state of the British industry and Rover’s reluctance to invest in technological equipment. The external panels were made of lightweight aluminum-magnesium alloy Birmabright, the sheets of which were manually formed.
With minimal changes, the first Land Rover SUV stepped into the 21st century, but with the Defender nameplate. At the same time, at first the name of the model was a digital designation of the wheelbase in inches – Land Rover 90 and 110, and it acquired its own name only in the early 90’s, after the advent of Discovery. Over the years, Defender has overgrown with various versions, but basically has not changed. And by the time of the next update in 2012, it was already known that Land Rover was working on a successor – without a complete revision of the design, the company simply could not fit into the new European standards regarding pedestrian safety.
The last 15 copies of the “tube” Land Rover Defender left the gates of the company’s plant in Solihull on January 29, 2016. We were about to see the next-generation SUV, but in 2018, Land Rover Classic unexpectedly released a collector’s version of the Works V8 70th Edition with a five-liter “eight” for 405 forces, an automatic transmission and an altered interior with Recaro sports seats. The first spy photos of the prototypes of the new Defender appeared in the fall of 2018, and now, after almost a year, the British completely declassified the successor to the iconic SUV. Now Defender – the most advanced car of the Land Rover family, a sort of child of the digital era, and not a relic, as before.
The appearance of the new Land Rover Defender is largely based on a game with classic forms, although the influence of the 2011 DC100 concept is hard to miss. Smoothed lines and rings of running lights cut from above gave the appearance of the SUV a certain cartoonishness and made it look like another show car. Designers emphasized the connection of generations with the help of short overhangs, a hinged rear door with a spare wheel and Alpine Light signature windows on the roof. According to Massimo Frashell, who is responsible for the exterior of the Land Rovers, “the styling of the new Defender is a manifesto of the current brand design philosophy, concise and at the same time complex.”
The Defender characteristic chassis with a ladder frame and continuous bridges has sunk into oblivion. He was replaced by a design with a supporting body based on the aluminum monocoque D7x. Front suspension – double wishbone, rear – multi-link Integral Link with additional vertical traction, like the Discovery and Jaguar E-Pace. At the same time, the SUV can be equipped with both passive shock absorbers with steel springs and adaptive air suspension with adjustable ride height. Defender can withstand up to 6.5 tons of jerk load applied to tow hooks, and reinforced suspension elements up to seven tons.
The standard ground clearance of the new Land Rover Defender is 291 millimeters. However, in off-road mode, a car with pneumatic struts can rise another 75 millimeters. For the convenience of landing and loading, the Elegant Arrival system is designed, which lowers the body by 50 millimeters. The suspension moves of the SUV are half a meter; Defender can overcome 45-degree lateral slopes and ascents, force a ford 900 mm in depth, tow a trailer weighing up to 3,500 kilograms (for cars for the American market this figure is slightly higher – 3,720 kg) and carry 168 kilograms of cargo on the roof (static load – 300 kg). The angles of entry and exit are 38 and 40 degrees, respectively, ramps – 31 degrees for Defender 90 and 28 for 110.
The previous Defender ground clearance was less – 250 millimeters. The SUV could overcome half-meter water barriers; the angles of entry and exit were 48.7 and 35.6 degrees for modifications 110 and 47 and 47.1 for Defender 90.
Defender’s off-road arsenal complements the latest generation of the Terrain Response system, which now has a Configurable prefix (customizable). It allows you to use the central screen to block the center and optional rear differentials, as well as adjust the sensitivity of the throttle, gearbox, steering and traction control – in total, four individual profiles can be saved. In addition, a fully automatic mode, capable of independently recognizing road conditions, is available, and for the first time in Land Rover cars, the Wade add-on.
When it is activated, differentials are blocked, the air conditioner is switched to recirculation mode, and the suspension rises to its maximum position. In addition, using the Wade Sensing sensors, the display shows information about the current ford depth. After turning off the mode, the program for cleaning and drying the brakes automatically starts. In addition to Terrain Response 2, the list of available SUV equipment includes a low-speed “cruise” All-Terrain Progress Control, an “invisible” ClearSight Ground View hood and a ClearSight Rear View digital interior mirror.
The list of electronic assistants of the new Defender also includes an assist system for lifting with the function of automatic hold, blind spot control, lane, driver fatigue, rear traffic, sign recognition, a warning system for approaching objects when leaving the car, Advanced Tow Assist, which simplifies maneuvering with a trailer when reversing, and emergency braking and traction control systems that are twice as fast. Off-road electronics continuously communicate via the high-speed FlexRay.
The operation of the car’s subsystems is controlled by the EVA 2.0 platform. It manages 85 electronic units and simultaneously processes about 21 thousand system messages. Back in Defender, support for updates was implemented wirelessly (Software Over The Air, SOTA), thanks to which the electronic modules automatically receive the latest firmware without having to visit the dealership. Updates are downloaded over the cellular network, and in remote locations via satellite. In some markets, the SUV will be equipped with a 5G communication module.
At the new Land Rover Defender debuted and multimedia system Pivi Pro. She got a simpler and more intuitive interface, became more responsive and learned to update “over the air.” The media complex is equipped with a 10-inch display, supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, connect two smartphones via Bluetooth and wireless charging function. The navigation system now uses self-learning algorithms and dynamic hints to optimize route construction, and can also display high-resolution 3D maps on the digital dashboard screen. You can customize the virtual flap as you wish, as well as supplement it with a projection display, which duplicates the picture from the central screen.
The design of the Defender salon refers to the ideas of constructivism with its rigor, geometricity and laconicism of forms. A key element of the architecture is a magnesium alloy crossbeam with integrated handrails. All elements of the front panel are fixed on the frame of the same material. For interior decoration, fabric, granular leather and wear-resistant material made of high-strength polyester fibers are used. For the top versions, upholstery is provided with expensive leather, faux suede and Steelcut textiles with a 30 percent wool content and three-dimensional complex weaving. Metal parts can be painted white, powder coatings are presented in shades of gray Dark Gray and Light Gray, decorative panels and inserts are made of walnut or dark oak.
A hinged seat in the center of the front row and a soft folding roof are available as options for the Land Rover Defender. The equipment list also has a Meridian audio system with six, ten or fourteen speakers, five USB ports and 12-volt outlets, a waterproof and shockproof Activity Key bracelet that acts as a key fob, gadget holders and equipment packages. So, with the Explorer Pack kit, the SUV will have a snorkel and a roof rack, and with the Urban Pack – a cover for the spare wheel and a lining on the front bumper.
After a generational change, Land Rover Defender said goodbye to a 2.2-liter diesel engine with 122 horsepower and a manual gearbox. The engine range of the new SUV consists of Ingenium units. All of them are combined with an eight-band automatic ZF. Gasoline versions are represented by versions P300 (2.0, 300 forces and 400 Nm) and a soft hybrid P400 (in-line “six” 3.0, 400 forces and 550 Nm) with electric supercharging and a 48-volt on-board network, diesel ones – D200 (2.0, 200 forces and 430 Nm) and D300 (240 forces). Later, the P400e plug-in hybrid with a return of 404 horsepower and 640 Nm of torque will enter the market. The fastest diesel Defender accelerates to “hundreds” in 9.1 seconds, gasoline – P400 – in 6.1 seconds. By the standards of the predecessor, it is very fast, because it took him about 16 seconds.
So far, Land Rover has officially introduced only a five-door modification of the Defender 110. The compact Defender 90 will be available later, and after them the company promises to release commercial versions of the SUV.
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