New Land Rover Defender to arrive showrooms by June

The redesigned Land Rover Defender is expected to arrive various Africa’s showrooms by June, and is expected to be the toughest in its series.

The broad-shouldered Land Rover Defender is a stalwart in the classic off-road scene. Bold, boxy, and unrepentantly crude, its go-anywhere mettle cemented its reputation as one of the most off-road-capable vehicles on the planet.

Sliding into the interior, the first thing you notice is the dashboard design. It’s simple, uncluttered and dominated by the one-piece magnesium plate right across the front. It’s a structural piece, by the way, and very reminiscent of pre-1971 interiors.

The 10.0-inch infotainment display is very un-Defender, as are the dual-zone climate controls and electronic gearstick mounted onto the dashboard. It’s an enticing mix of old and new – paying respects to the past, while also getting with the times. Pared back, but also premium-feeling.

That infotainment unit, by the way, is a completely new system that debuts in the new Defender. It’s got maps, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, digital radio and software updates over the air. It’s a nice clean design, as well, fast to respond and easy to use. There’s a huge amount of features packed into it, however, and many of which are hiding behind menus and buttons. Take your time to get to know it.

Both petrol and diesel engines fire into life almost unnoticeably from inside, the modern Ingenium power plants and active engine mounts emitting nowhere near the rattles and vibrations of previous iterations.

While the Range Rover uses aluminum subframes, the Defender incorporates forged steel units for greater robustness. All first-year 110 models receive air suspension, while steel springs will be available after the initial rollout.

Bundled with the package is the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder powertrain, badged as P400. Churning 395 hp and 406 lb-ft, the mild hybrid setup is gutsy enough to make you never look back at the P300’s turbo four-banger, which produces 296 hp and 295 lb-ft.

The dashboard is sparse, with many of the vehicle’s controls managed through a central 10-inch touchscreen. Shame designers missed the opportunity to incorporate more hard buttons; though Land Rover’s successful HVAC dials and buttons are used, embedding the Terrain Response settings within the digital menu is a missed opportunity for potential tactility.

Think of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class’ differential-locking rocker switches, or even Mini’s aircraft-like dashboard toggles. There are options – you can order your Defender with wood veneers, for instance. But craving such incongruous trim probably means you think you want something edgy, but what you really want is a Range Rover.

Leave a Reply