defender - old land rover defender - Nah, that’s not the Defender — is it?
Defender . . . the old clunker.

There’s no disputing the Land Rover Defender is a motoring icon.

But anyone who has had anything to to do with the car will know it had some shortcomings, not the least being safety.

And let’s not forget the need to keep the driver’s window open, come rain, hail or shine — otherwise where the hell could you put your elbow?

So it’s with great pleasure we bring you the brand new Defender, several years in the making.

It’s described as an icon reimagined for the 21st Century, cleverly engineered with capability and safety.

Unlike the original new Defender is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced.

It’s three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, which underpinned its predecessor, ans provides perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension and supports the latest electrified powertrains.

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 7.6L/100km and CO2 emissions of 199g/km.

The 110 is just the start and will be followed soon by a short wheelbase 90, before a pair of practical commercial models join the line-up in 2020.

Driven by a passion and respect for the original, new Defender delivers transformational breadth of capability and advanced all-terrain technologies, while remaining true to the pioneering spirit that has been a hallmark for 71 years.

Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern said the new Defender is respectful of its past but not harnessed by it.

“This is a new Defender for a New Age,” he said.

“Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.

The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, where structural elements and fixings usually hidden from view have been exposed, with the emphasis on simplicity and practicality.

Innovative features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional centre ‘jump’ seat, which provides three-abreast seating across the front.

As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations, with a loadspace behind the second-row seats of up to 1075 litres, and as much as 2380-litres with the second row 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.

Customers will even be able to opt for a new Satin Protective Film to make the exterior paintwork even more durable.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.