New Defender (2021) Rugged 4×4 SUV / Perfect to Off-road and hard work. How hard is it to reinvent a legend – just ask Land Rover about the titanic work involved with bringing to life the modern incarnation of its iconic Defender. Or Ford about the Bronco, for that matter. You get the point. The key aspect here is arduous dedication. And this never ends, as proven by the JLR subsidiary with the introduction of the 2021 model year enhancements.
Because the Land Rover Defender has been globetrotting in its latest reincarnation for just a few short months no one really expected the company to prepare massive enhancements for the 2021 model year. But the raft of novelties – new plug-in hybrid powertrain, new six-cylinder diesel, new X-Dynamic trim, Defender 90 with up to six seats, and the market introduction of the Hard Top certainly contradicts popular opinion.
And it is all for the better. Because the Defender deserved to stand next to its premium peers from Range Rover as it gains the efficient plug-in hybrid P400e powertrain.
The first-ever official Defender with electrified capabilities has 404 PS, room for five or six persons on board, a sprint time to 60 mph (96 kph) of just 5.4 seconds and can go on and off-road without harmful emissions for up to 27 miles (43 km). While a little hard to believe, combined fuel efficiency stands at no less than 85.3 mpg (3.3 liters/100km).
There is also a new diesel choice under the hood – the Ingenium-family in-line six-cylinder can be derived in three versions (D200, D250 and D300) with corresponding power outputs of up to 300 PS. More importantly, the new powertrains adopt Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology, and arrive as the first Land Rovers equipped with the company’s new Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.
New personalization options include the new X-Dynamic grade that can be chosen for both the Defender 110 and the shorter 90, while the British automaker also introduces new colors (Yulong White, Silicon Silver, and Carpathian Grey), a Folding Fabric Roof for the 110 model, and a Suspension Pack on the 90, among others.
Next to the available Defender 110 arrives the Defender 90 with a practical jump seat in the front row for adventures in a six-person configuration, as well as the Defender Hard Top.
The latter acts as the commercial version, was developed by SVO (Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations) and brings a payload of up to 670 / 800 kg (1,477 / 1,764 lbs.) on the 90 / 110 Hard Top and up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs.) in terms of towing capacity.
The Defender 90 Hard Top goes for £35,820 OTR (ex. VAT) in the UK, while the larger 110 Hard Top starts from £43,012 OTR. Meanwhile, the regular three-door Defender goes for £43,625 and the 110 costs at least £45,640, for the 2021 MY, in the United Kingdom. Pricing in the United States kicks off from $46,100, which is actually less than what Land Rover was asking for the 2020MY
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