Land Rover has defined all-terrain capability and toughness from the conception of its very first 4x4. The Series and Defender models before it, have gone above and beyond for decades, securing iconic status for their ability to help people make more of their world. The new Defender takes these much loved characteristics and reimagines them for the 21st century.
The result is a visually compelling vehicle that couldn’t be anything else but a modern Defender for a world that has changed massively since the original was created.
With its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, the new Defender has toughness at its core while its interior’s rugged modular architecture embraces the spirit of adventure that has been a fundamental part of Land Rover DNA for more than 70 years.
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Office, Land Rover, said: “The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it. This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4x4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment”.
New Defender’s high sills, short overhangs and externally mounted rear wheel facilitate all conquering off road capability, its elemental yet sophisticated surfaces combined with a strong horizontal emphasis communicate the Defender’s tough and purposeful character.
The new Defender is available in perfectly proportioned 90 and 110 body designs, which share the same short overhangs, with six models available; Defender, S, SE, HSE, Defender X and First Edition, with practical commercial models set to join the line-up next year.
Customers can also select from the widest range of accessories ever produced by Land Rover, including a choice of four Accessory Packs; Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban.
These additional characters have been designed to give customers even more choice, all are compelling and equally desirable and demonstrate the ability of this vehicle to embrace different personalities without compromising the integrity of the overall vehicle design.
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “This is our vision of a modern Defender. The clean body side contrasts dramatically against the sheer verticality of its front and particularly its rear to create a reassuringly purposeful stance. The overall impression is of an elemental design, yet this clean reductive approach is underpinned by sophisticated surfacing of the highest quality.”
Defender’s characterful front is tough but approachable, emphasised by the geometric forms of its highly technical headlamps which feature the latest adaptive technology, while beautifully sculptured fenders combined with squared wheel arches and strong shoulders all contribute to the vehicle’s sense of solidity and robustness.
At the rear the geometric forms of the distinctive high-tech lamps harmonise perfectly with the front end design.
The sheerness of the rear vertically maintains the short overhang for a superior departure angle while maximising interior space and accentuating the vehicle’s strong shoulder section.
Every detail of the exterior design has been creatively developed to re-enforce Defender’s DNA; sophisticated, durable and extremely tough, a vehicle design like no other.
Massimo Frascella, Creative Director, Land Rover Design, said: “For us designers, nothing comes close to redesigning the last automotive icon. The design of the new Defender is a manifestation of our modernist design philosophy, elemental yet incredibly sophisticated.”
Land Rover has developed a curated exterior palette with unique colours just for new Defender. A lot of body work is exposed in the interior – so the colour palettes are modular between interior and exterior.
On the X derivative the gloss black inset contrast bonnet is standard along with Gloss Black claddings. To give further differentiation between the X and the Core vehicles, the front and rear skid pans and other detailed exterior parts are coated in a Starlight Satin finish.
New Defender is the first Land Rover available with a factory-fitted Satin Protective Film which delivers enhanced design and durability.
The PU-based wrap is applied to external bodywork and gives the standard metallic paint a rich and contemporary satin finish, showing the sophisticated surfacing of the exterior design in the best possible light.
This durable wrap meets rigorous standards and has been developed for the highest performance in extreme conditions.
The film can be removed at any time, making it significantly quicker to repair than standard paint finishes. It is available with Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone and Pangea Green paint options, is solvent free and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
A choice of 12 wheel designs is available, ranging from 18-inch white-painted pressed steel rims to 22-inch Luna alloys.
Body colour options include three new metallic shades unique to the Defender with Tasman Blue, Pangea Green and Gondwana Stone joining Fuji White, Eiger Grey, Santorini Black and Indus Silver in the colour palette.
Constructivist Interior Design
Defenders constructivist modular interior architecture communicates its highly functional nature. Underpinned by its practical layout and reductive design.
This approach is most evident by the exposed, powder-coated magnesium cross car beam which is integral to the overall strength of the body architecture.
This structural die-cast magnesium alloy beam which is available in a range of finishes, features integrated grab handles to aid entry but also for a secure grip when the vehicle is performing serious off-road driving.
The main controls, including the central touchscreen, are ergonomically clustered within the magnesium frame to enable the installation of an innovative optional front row centre seat while also allowing for movement across the front of the cabin.
Practicality is a hallmark of Land Rover interior design and the new Defender comes with an abundance of storage opportunities including a choice of high and low centre consoles.
The durable constructivist theme is consistent throughout the interior with visible fixings that retain the structural door casings while partially exposing the painted doors.
This pared-back design philosophy extends to the durable rubberised flooring which combines with flush door sills to provide genuine mop or brush clean functionality. Other details include; cast magnesium features, padded waist rails, grab handles and arm rests.
The innovative Front Row Centre Seat (otherwise known as jump seat) allows three people to travel in the front row. Conceived and designed as an occasional seat, the practical addition means the Defender 110 can be specified with five, six or 5+2 seating while the short-wheelbase Defender 90 can accommodate six occupants in a compact family hatchback length body. When not in use, the seatback folds down to provide a front armrest and oddment stowage, including a pair of additional cupholders.
Alan Sheppard, Director, Interior Design, Land Rover, said: “Within, we strived to harness Defender’s profound spirit of boundless adventure. A comfortable interior which is at once impeccably handsome for the discerning, shrewd in functionality and prudently qualified in anticipation of any adversity.”
Comfort is also a key part of new Defender, with interior materials focused on retained newness – so even after thousands of miles of adventure the new Defender is sure to look and feel fresh. Customers can choose from three interior colour schemes with scope for personalisation, available by mixing these with different interior finish options.
Material choices include Resolve textile on standard models while S and SE trims feature Grained Leather combined with a durable Robust Woven Textile featuring higher decitex fibres for added strength (in addition to using recycled polyester), in areas subjected to the most wear. This tough and tactile material pays homage to the canvas hoods fitted to early Series Land Rovers.
HSE models feature high grade Windsor Leather, while the Defender X features Windsor Leather in combination with Steelcut Premium Textile accent for enhanced durability. This premium textile from Kvadrat is a 30 per cent wool blend and is also available as a full alternative to the leather upholstery paired with Miko Suedecloth.
With a higher tensile tear strength than conventional materials as well as high breathability, wool naturally regulates the climate keeping you warm in the cold and cool in the heat. These fit-for-purpose materials promise to take off-road thrills and on-road spills in their stride.
Customers can also choose from a curated range of veneers and finishes, which include a rugged rough-cut Walnut or Natural Smoked Dark Oak Veneer, both of which are open pore to give a more natural haptic. Powder coating colours available include Dark Grey for the ‘X’ derivative and Light Grey as standard on mainline Defender models, with the option of the product inspired white for all the exposed metal parts.
Amy Frascella, Director, Colour and Materials, Land Rover, said: “Essentially a tool – obtaining this balance of tactility, softness and durability was key to create a modern premium aesthetic for both the interior and exterior materials. We have enabled innovation of materials by creating new approaches to development, challenging conventions of traditional methods of make and modifying existing technologies.”
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “The new Defender family of vehicles with multiple characters, including commercial derivatives, are all emotionally engaging with modern, relevant design at their core”.