The Final Leak - The Defender Revealed
Words: Scott Blackburn
Yesterday (10th September), at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover proudly announced the debut of their newest project, the Defender. Not that its appearance or much about it is a surprise at this point but it’s nice to finally see it in full I suppose.
As seen, the long-awaited return boasts distinctive traces of its ancestry, with its boxy, rugged appearance, only now blended with a little more of Land Rover’s current design cues.
To its credit, the Defender stands apart from its somewhat urbanised siblings, both in appearance and functionality. On the inside, a cast magnesium alloy beam wraps the dash, making more than just a design feature and providing a firm interior attachment to the frame of the car.
This sturdy grab handle is just the start, as you notice the interior is designed to be entirely washable if necessary and, while attractively constructed, still very rugged, with exposed bolts and tough materials.
A optional chunky middle armrest hides a third front seat, with the rear view mirror able to switch to a screen to compensate for this third front passenger’s head now being in the way.
Outside, there’s plenty of protective plastic and the return of the patterned steel plates seated on the bonnet. The traditional flat back still allows for an impressively steep departure angle and the selection of on-board tech allows for the return of the Land Rover prowess.
Five variants of the civilian model are set to be released, with trade versions in the impending works. The smaller 90 is set to begin at an un-Land-Rover-ish £40,000, but that quickly hurtles closer to the £100,000 mark once you start to get bigger and fancier.
This new model is apparently more capable even that its predecessors, something you’d be inclined to believe given the amount of testing JLR have poured into it. Land Rover is comfortably likely to see the return of some its more adventurous fan-base in the coming releases of various Defenders.