It’s just the same old Defender, isn’t it?
It sure is, but Land Rover says it has been comprehensively upgraded. That’s good news: a replacement is some years away and the current car has roots dating back to 1948. But the Defender’s very appeal is its non-changing character, so it retains a choice of three wheelbases and 14 bodystyles. Land Rover still considers the Defender its most capable off-roader, and knowing how good the rest of the range is, this means it’s really rather good. Being a modern Land Rover, part of the purchase price will be used to offset your CO2 emissions.
Will purists call it sacrilege?
Perhaps, for the 2007 Defender now features a Discovery-inspired interior complete with iPod connectivity. There’s even a power bulge on the bonnet, for goodness sake. At least that’s for practical purposes, for sitting beneath it is a 2.4-litre common-rail diesel that also sees service in the Transit. However, it has been adapted for off-roading and the high sulphur content of fuel in developing countries. Peak power is 120bhp while torque peaks at 266lb ft. The revised car goes on sale in April in 90 and 110 guises, with the 130 following in July. The base Defender 90 Pick Up costs from £18,645 and prices rise on average by about £400 across the range. If Land Rover can keep selling 25,000 units per year, by the end of 2010 they will have made over two million.