Off-road king: The Land Rover Defender

Daniel Lim

When one conjures up thoughts on a rugged and capable off-roading vehicle, chances are the distinctive boxy shape of the Land Rover are mostly what comes first into mind.

With a pedigree in trekking even the toughest of terrain, Land Rover had built it’s early reputation base on such demand.

Over the years, Land Rover has released various models that are all capable and lives up to their name; but one particular model among the Land Rover Family Series that sticks out the most is also their most capable in defending the title of the best off-roading vehicle money can buy.

Initially called the Land Rover Ninety and Land Rover One Ten, the Land Rover Defender is a model that is synonymously and instantly recognisable as a capable vehicle as it is extensively used by both civilians as well as military forces alike, from the wide country roads to the dusty sand dunes of Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.

As such, over the course of 67 years, the Land Rover Defender has been a symbol for those who seek adventure; and this tradition continues with the launch of the New Land Rover Defender 2020, which was held earlier in Frankfurt last year; with the Asia Pacific Region recently getting the chance to get a first look at the new generation of Defender at the Singapore Motorshow 2020.

The Land Rover Defender. PHOTO: LAND ROVER
Spacious Interior with the 10″ Pivi Pro Infotainment means that long drives are not only comfortable but entertaining as well. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM
The newly launched Defender 110 First Edition showcased at the Singapore Motorshow 2020. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
ABOVE & BELOW: The Ingenium Engine that powers the new Defender through the toughest terrain hids beneath the hood; and Ample space in the back for adventurous excursion or just simple transportation for everyday needs

To be honest, when the world was shown photos of the New Defender; on the one hand, I was not as hyped as everyone was at the time. In an era where sleek and aerodynamic designed cars are being released all the time, Land Rover is still sticking to the boxy shape of their made their predecessor famous for.

And yet, as time rolls on; I am starting warm up to the New Defender, like a gourmet snack that leaves you wanting a second and subsequent tries until it becomes somewhat of a guilty pleasure to sate after.

This particular Defender that was shown off to the public during the Motorshow was the First Edition of the New Land Rover Defender, and as such features some distinct differences from future iteration.

For one, opening the doors of the New Defender, occupants will be first greeted with a First Edition Badge adorning the door sill; proudly showcasing that this is the first of many Defenders that will be blazing the trails.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, it’s best to start off with the first thing that can catch someone’s eyes; and that’s the design of the exterior of the Defender.

The Five-Door Defender 110 does have a distinctive feel to it, as mentioned previously, the blocky design might be off-putting to some; but it does give an air of not only capability but sophistication to boot.

As such, intricate detail adorns the exterior of the vehicle, such as black accent panelling which makes the hood pop in contrast to the rest of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the 20″ Five spoked wheels with inset of the Land Rover and Defender logo are fitted with all-season tyres; which further accentuate the car’s capabilities as the best off-roader of it’s class.

While the exterior of the Defender screams “I’m the best at off-roading”, the inside tells another story. While it translate some of the exterior design of being capable to the interior, such as brushed finish on the trimmings and cross beams on the centre console to match the rugged exterior; Land Rover has implemented several tricks up the New Defender’s sleeves.

One that takes dominance is the Infotainment which includes the new 10″ Pivi Pro, not only displays the music and position of the vehicle on the screen; but also shows detailed information pertaining to the situation surrounding the car; and combined with the Interactive Driver Display, gives the most relevant information directly to the driver’s dashboard.

This is coupled with the myriad of Driver’s Assistance that come with the First Edition of the New Defender, which includes some normally found on other vehicles such as Blind Spot Assist Pack, 3D Surround Camera, 360 Parking Aid; but also some that seems out of place in normal cars but not for the Defender, such as the Wade Sensing for times where you absolutely have to cross a deep stretch of water.

Powering the New Defender to trek across the most challenging terrain is the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Ingenium Engine; with this particular defender sporting the engine model D240, which is 2.0 litre diesel four cylinder turbo-diesel engine; that reportedly generates 237 bhp; while being fuel efficient consuming 8.8L for every 100km.

Out of all the features that was shown, the one feature or pack that was showcased in the New Defender that I am sure that everyone would be oozing over is that nearly every easily accessible nook and cranny is fitted with a USB port; so never again will one have to fumble in search for a car charger to charge your phone.

Furthermore, in front of the centre console is a small tray with a lighting bolt symbol adorning it, signifying the use of wireless charging; and as such, if your phone supports it, simply putting the phone on the charge, eliminating the wire completely.

With a myriad of other customisable options available once the Defender launches, finding the best combination can truly make the New Defender a one of a kind vehicle; in being able to adopt to the lifestyle of the user, for both casual and extreme use cases.