Given the particularly difficult task of reinventing an icon, Land Rover had thrown everything at this new Land Rover Defender model – with highlights including an all-new platform, a wide range of engines including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid, and significantly increased dimensions. Production has also moved from Solihull to Slovakia.
The new Defender 4x4, which is codenamed L663, switches from body-on-frame construction to an aluminium unibody derived from the D7 platform. The Defender has switched from solid axles to double-wishbone front suspension and Integral Link independent rear suspension.
However, the Defender’s platform is said to be 95 per cent new compared to that used in existing models, and is dubbed D7x – denoting ‘extreme’. Land Rover says it’s the strongest, stiffest structure it’s ever engineered, with torsional rigidity of 30kNm/Degree. To put things in perspective, that’s slightly better than a Jaguar E-Pace SUV.
In order to help bolster its off-road performance, hardware such as the battery, cooling circuits and spare wheel (normally positioned underneath, now fixed to the side-opening rear door) has been moved to help shorten the front and rear overhangs.
The Defender is also bigger than it was before: the new 90 and 110 models measure 4583mm and 5018mm long respectively (including the spare wheel on the rear door), which is up 722mm and 440mm on previous models. The wheelbases of the 110 clocks in at 3022mm, which is 99mm longer than a Discovery’s, helping keep the Defender’s trademark short overhangs that are so essential to its off-road performance.
The unit we have here is the entry-level Defender, badged D200, is powered by a 2.0-litre SD4 diesel with sequential twin turbos. It produces 197bhp and stout 430Nm. It powers the 4 wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic which sends power to all four wheels via a two-speed transfer case.
|Registration date||26 Nov 2020|