It’s here. The reborn Land Rover Defender has officially touched down in Australia.
Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed the car has “already started arriving in each of the ports” around Australia, while Facebook page Melbourne Car Spotters has already posted pictures of a white Defender 110 on Victorian streets.
Revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, the new Defender is a totally different beast to the much-loved off-roader it replaces.
It’s no longer a body-on-frame box on wheels, with Land Rover opting for a monocoque chassis and a suite of tricky, electrically-controlled off-road systems to unlock even more capability off the beaten track.
Land Rover has dubbed the chassis D7x (yes, the x is for extreme), and says it’s three times stiffer than a conventional body-on-frame chassis. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard, backed by a two-speed transfer case and locking centre differential.
Tick a few options boxes and there’s also a locking rear differential. A variation of Land Rover’s Terrain Response electronics is standard, allowing owners to toggle through a number of preset drive modes or to tailor the car to their tastes.
Set up in its most rugged configuration, the Defender has 291mm of ground clearance, a 900mm wading depth, a 38-degree approach angle, a 28-degree breakover angle, and a 40-degree departure angle.
Braked towing capacity is 3500kg, payload is 900kg, and the maximum static roof load is 300kg.
Two suspension options are available: an independent air suspension, and a coil-sprung setup. The air suspension can be raised by 145mm and lowered by 50mm, with up to 500mm of articulation.
The brakes are electrically actuated, and can supposedly lock a wheel twice as fast as a conventional hydraulic system. There are other benefits, including smart brake hold for taking off on steep inclines.
Two body styles are being offered: the two-door 90, and the four-door 110. The 110 is now on Australian shores, the 90 will arrive in October.
Inside, the Defender debuts a new infotainment system for Jaguar Land Rover, but wraps its new high-tech bones in a rugged-looking, off-road ready design. Although a conventional five-seat layout is offered, Land Rover also does a six-seat setup with a folding ‘jump seat’ in the front.
The full array of climate, infotainment, and off-road controls are housed in a pod below the infotainment touchscreen, leaving space for passengers. It also allows Land Rover to create a walk-through option.
Boot space is is 646L loaded to the top of the backrests or 1075L to the roof, while folding the 40/20/40 rear bench frees up 2380L. A 5+2 seven-seat option is also available.
A range of accessories are available, ranging from the Explorer Pack with a 26kg roof rack to the Urban Pack, with a bright rear scuff plate, spare wheel cover, and front bash plate.