Over 70 years after the model which became Defender was unveiled and three years after the last series was axed by Land Rover, a new 21st century model is a star of the Frankfurt motor show and order books now open for the first long wheelbase five-door models, followed soon after by a shorter wheelbase three-door model and a commercial series.
A genuine modern sports utility vehicle for the landed-country set, the new automatic only Defender 110 series is priced from £45,240 to £78,800 for the initial 12 model series using 300hp 4cyl and 400hp 6cyl petrol engines or 200hp and 240hp 4cyl diesel units, some with mild hybrid electric drive to boost performance, cut emissions and improve economy. A plug-in hybrid electric version will come later.
The Defender 90 coming next year will be from about £40,000 and the Commercial £35,000, plus VAT.
Naturally, it gets all wheel drive and uses the company’s most sophisticated ever traction technology to give it true go-anywhere ability with high and low range gearbox.
While deliberately resembling the profile of the former Defender, the newcomer is very different under the skin and its highly advanced terrain response allows skilled drivers to fine tune settings for any conditions while its new Clear Sight Ground View technology means a driver can “see” through the engine compartment to the surface and avoid damaging obstacles.
It can wade up to 90cms, tow 3.5 tonnes, and carry 300kgs on its roof with a maximum payload of 900kgs and in another throwback to its origins there is a central front jump-seat.
There are five trim levels, four Accessory Packs and an extensive 170 options to make a truly bespoke Defender for every customer.