The all-new Defender has been officially unveiled, with the reborn model being described as “the toughest and most capable Land Rover yet”.
Measuring 4,758 mm long, 2,008 mm wide and 1,967 mm tall, and coming in both three- and five-door guises, the designers say the new Defender’s silhouette is a modern interpretation of the original.
“This is our vision of a modern Defender. The clean body side contrasts dramatically against the sheer verticality of its front and particularly its rear to create a reassuringly purposeful stance. The overall impression is of an elemental design, yet this clean reductive approach is underpinned by sophisticated surfacing of the highest quality,” says company design boss, Gerry McGovern.
Under the skin, the car has been developed around a new all-aluminium platform dubbed the “D7x”, which incorporates a lightweight all-aluminium monocoque construction that is claimed to deliver the stiffest Land Rover body ever created, with a torsional rigidity three times more rigid than traditional body-on-frame designs.
Additionally, the new platform means the Defender doesn’t share a single body-in-white panel with another Land Rover model. It also sits 20 mm higher than any of the brand’s existing range of large SUVs.
Key ‘utilitarian’ attributes, meanwhile, include a towing capacity of 3,500 kg, a payload of 900 kg and a static roof load of up to 300 kg. The 4×4’s short front and rear overhangs also help deliver approach and departure angles of 38 and 40 degrees respectively, while optional air suspension provides an extra off-road ride height lift of 75 mm.
On the inside, the rear delivers up to 1,075 litres of loadspace when using the full height up to the roofline, and 2,380-litres with the row-two seats folded.
“The old Defender was fun to drive, but flawed. New Defender is fun, but without the flaws. The result is a 4×4 that will put a smile on your face on any terrain and leave you feeling refreshed after a long drive, yet tow up to 3,500 kg, carry a dynamic roofload of up to 168 kg and wade through water up to 900 mm deep,” says Land Rover’s chief engineer, Mike Cross.
In terms of power, the new Defender will be available with a wide range of engines at launch, including both diesel and petrol units. A PHEV powertrain will also be joining the range next year.
All of the engines will drive through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and twin-speed transmission.