Given the comfort, quietness, capability and reduced consumption (in the right use case), the Defender PHEV answers a lot of questions. If your life involves the mix that so many of ours do – plenty of shorter journeys, with infrequent long ones, it’s a low-consumption alternative.
If you do a lot of motorway miles, particularly with something hanging onto the back of it, a diesel engine is still your best answer. And in rural extremes, it almost certainly is. But the Defender has moulded itself deftly to fit a certain market. And it’s still the most capable big 4x4 while it’s at it.
DRIVEN: 2021 Land Rover Defender X packs an engine that we’ll really miss
When it comes to diesel engines, I find it particularly challenging to get excited. There's that unrefined oil-burner clatter on cold start-ups that reminds me of a farm tractor and that horrendous turbo lag that you get from a standstill that just diminishes the driving experience no matter how luxurious a vehicle may be on the inside.
Over the past decade, however, I will admit that diesel engines have improved and that one manufacturer, BMW has nailed the diesel engine in its passenger cars and SUVs. These days there's nothing that comes close to an in-line six cylinder BMW diesel engine, regardless of whether it has one, two or three turbochargers attached to it. There's refinement to BMW six-pot oil-burners. These engines idle smoothly and pick up torque with very little input lag and depending on their individual state of tune, can either be blisteringly quick or sensationally frugal and sometimes both as is the case with the BMW 330d as an example. BMW, however, has a challenger for the throne when it comes to diesel engine supremacy and this is thanks to Land Rover's latest diesel six-pot engine, which we put to the test in the latest Defender 110.
Priced at a cool R1 679 352 in D300 X guise, the latest Defender 110 packs a 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged diesel engine that punches out 221kW at 4000rpm and 650Nm from as low as 1500rpm. Grunt is sent to all four wheels via an eight speed torque converter style automatic gearbox (one of the best shifters in an SUV right now by the way) and you can tailor your traction capabilities through Land Rover's Terrain Response system depending on your driving surface. The engine fires up with an almost petrol-like smoothness and while there is some clatter when it's cold, that fades away quickly and from the inside of the cabin, you can barely hear it idle.
Rumour: Land Rover Working On Defender SVR Packing Over 600 HP (447 Kw)
Earlier this year, we were all very pleased to see Land Rover take the covers off the menacing Defender V8 but if rumours turn out to be true, we will be blessed with an even meaner variant.
According to Motor Trend, they are busy with a Defender SVR which will actually be quite different compared to the aforementioned V8.
The biggest change as the publication suggests is the SVR variant will lose the current 5.0-litre supercharged V8 and gain the rumoured BMW-sourced twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8. While that is not absolutely certain, the SVR variant is rumoured to have more than 600 hp (447 kW).
While those numbers are mightily impressive, American magazine, MotorTrend, reckons that Land Rover is working on a potent V8-powered Defender SVR that will be tuned to deliver at least 447 kW from a BMW-sourced 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8! More so, the Defender SVR is expected to come to market in both 90 and 110 configurations and is likely to feature a remapped ZF transmission as well as uprated brakes and suspension to match its performance intent.
The Land Rover Defender SVR is expected to be revealed in the near future and we will keep you informed as soon as official information becomes available.
Yep, this is its all-new Defender Challenge rally car. As you can see, it’s based on the new Defender 90, albeit one in very basic P300 spec with the 296bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and coil springs.
It’s available for you to buy right now at a cost of just £99,500 too, and whilst you’re on hold trying to put that deposit down, you can click these blue words to read our full review and get an in-depth look into how Bowler turns Land Rover’s monocoque’d 4x4 into a proper rally car. Spoiler alert – it’s completely excellent.
However, you should also be aware that the circa £100,000 price tag doesn’t just get you the car. Oh no, it also buys entry into the reformed one-make Bowler Defender Challenge rally series, which will feature seven UK-based rounds and should kick off in March 2022. Plus you’ll get full event support all the way through if you do take the plunge.
Bowler Defender Challenge review: Defender 90-based rally car driven
How do I get one?
Well, it’ll cost you £99,500, but that gets you the car, the rally conversion and entry into the seven-round championship with Bowler support at each race.
Just 12 spots and 12 cars are up for grabs in the 2022 Challenge, and you’ll get to keep your car after the series finishes. All are painted white this year, but buyers will be able to customise their graphics and add sponsors to the liveries you see above.
Anyone fancy donating a mere £100,000 to support a Team TG Defender Challenge entry? Please?
Bowler Defender revealed as rally-fighter with Fox-tuned suspension!
The Bowler Defender has been unveiled for a new rally competition series that will be taking place in the UK next year. The kitted out SUV has been based on the Land Rover Defender 90 P300 and features a number of conclusive performance enhancements with some assistance from JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations.
Making it fit for the off-road colosseum, the Bowler Defenderhas been provided with a full roll cage, modified underbody, raised suspension, rally-grade 18-inch alloy wheels and a pair of column-mounted paddle shifters. Under the bonnet sits the unmodified turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine delivering 221 kW and 650 N.m of torque.
Giving the Bowler Defender the edge it needs to speed through a special stage are modified front and rear subframes that have been fitted with additional bracing and a new bespoke performance suspension setup built in conjunction with Fox. With this, the ride has increased by 25 mm.
For improved safety and optimisation, the Bowler Defenderhas been provided with fire protection, electrical cut-offs and additional lighting and control systems. This equipment has been integrated into the car’s existing electrical architecture. Keeping the driver focused within the cockpit is a set of competition racing seats and a repositioned gear selector.
The Bowler Defender has been unveiled for a new rally competition series that will be taking place in the UK next year. The kitted out SUV has been based on the Land Rover Defender 90 P300 and features a number of conclusive performance enhancements with some assistance from JLR’s Special...
Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition revealed with unique features
The Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition has been revealed for the North American market as a tribute to the brand’s long-standing expedition legacy. Each example will be based on the 110P400 X-Dynamic SE trim with additional equipment attached.
Inspired by the Defender Works V8Trophy, the Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition boasts a special vehicle wrap with an extended black exterior pack, tow hitch receiver, ClearSight rearview mirror, air suspension and cold climate pack, the 11,4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and the and the advanced off-road capability pack.
The North American arm has put the Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition together for customers that intend to tackle some of the most demanding endurance challenges. Further equipment applied to the SUV includes an expedition roof rack, front undershield, deployable ladder, winch installation kit, mud flaps, integrated air compressor, deep sided and loadspace rubber mats.
Just 220 examples of the Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition will be assembled with each model including a two-person entry into a one-day off road adventure in the Land Rover U.S. Trophy Competition where up to 90 teams will compete at the legendary Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina starting from October 11, 2021.
The Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition has been revealed for the North American market as a tribute to the brand’s long-standing expedition legacy. Each example will be based on the 110 P400 X-Dynamic SE trim with additional equipment attached.
• Fabulous styling! Land Rover has perfectly amalgamated history with contemporariness
• Solid, rugged and indestructible feel. You'll love driving the Defender. It oozes character • Interiors portray extreme thoughtfulness in design & offer loads of practicality
• Wide engine range includes a 2.0P, 3.0P and 3.0D. V8 petrol is on the horizon too
• Air suspension offers very good ride comfort • Comes fully loaded with kit & technology. Rugged, but has all the modern goodies
• Offroad capability is top class! • 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating & equipment
Land Rover Defender Cons
• 2.0 petrol feels strictly 'adequate'. Get the larger 3.0 motors if you can
• Workhorse 2.0 diesel (usually the best seller in India) isn't on sale
• 2.0 Petrol AT's low fuel economy (again, the 2.0 diesel will be missed) • Some interior parts don't feel luxurious, keeping the price tag in mind
• Land Rover's questionable long-term reliability • Expensive, especially the higher variants & bigger engines
• 3rd seat row is too small & tiny to be usable
The 2.0L INGENIUM turbo-petrol with 296 BHP and 400 Nm
Full detailed review & many more pics at the link below: