Five features on the new Land Rover Defender that honour its heritage

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - Are you excited about the arrival of the new Land Rover Defender? We know we are. The vehicle is expected to land in South Africa during the second quarter of this year and it’s looking to take the fight to Jeep’s Wrangler and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Nevertheless, Defender fanatics will tell you it has no competition, but that’s another story.

Land Rover claims to have defined all-terrain capability and toughness from the conception of its very first 4x4, culminating in the newest Defender that was launched internationally in 2019.

Its distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender as instantly recognisable as the original.

There are a number of iconic features which have been passed on through generations of Series Land Rovers and Defenders since the original appeared at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948.

The new Defender takes several iconic characteristics and re-imagines them for the 21st century.

Here’s a list of five features that contributed to the Defender’s iconic status, and all of them can be found on the latest iteration:

1. Alpine windows

A defining feature of all Defenders, Alpine windows in the upper-rear roof area are specially designed to let light into the cabin. The Alpine name also alludes to their original purpose: offering scenic views when touring mountain ranges.

2. Side-hinged tailgate

A tailgate that swings open like a conventional door has been a trademark of all Defenders. The design helps give the new Defender its unique rear profile, while also allowing a mounting place for the spare wheel. Featuring a strong four-layer design, the hinge and strike plate have been subjected to 30000 test slam cycles.

3. Externally-mounted spare wheel

Whether fixed to the bonnet in the early days or on the tailgate later on, the iconic Land Rover’s spare wheel has always been handily mounted externally. Apart from being a visual Defender trademark, this mounting position helps achieve a short rear overhang, and therefore steep departure angle. The Defender’s spare is secured with heavy duty locking wheel nuts.

4. Rugged steel wheels

Though alloy wheels are far more commonplace today, rugged steel rims are a requisite option on all Defenders. The new Defender comes with optional 18-inch pressed steel wheels in gloss white and off-road tyres with an outside rolling diameter of 815mm - the largest across the entire Land Rover family.

5. Pale green hue

Right from the very first Series 1 Rovers, when colour choice was dictated by surplus aircraft paint, the iconic 4x4 has come with pale green body panels. More recently, the Heritage Edition Defender was finished in a throwback Grasmere green. The new Defender is available with the latest iteration of the historic colour, Pangea Green.

The New Defender 110 hits South African showrooms around June, while the short wheelbase 90 derivative is set to follow later in 2020.

VISIT Drive360.co.za to shop for a Land Rover today.

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