Land Rover introduces new 90 and plug-in Defender

First hybrid Defender variant marries petrol engine to electric motor as part of wider model year updates

The first plug-in hybrid Land Rover Defender will go on sale next year with a 297kW powertrain capable of 44km of electric-only running and the promise that it will be “the most capable and durable” version of the off-roader.

It is not yet confirmed for Australia.

The new plug-in hybrid option is part of a range of upgrades and new varients being introduced as part of the Defender’s 2020 model year line-up. Meanwhile, the short wheelbase Defender 90 variant, which was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, has now been priced from $71,500 before on-roads. It will be available next year.

The new Defender P400e plug-in (PHEV) will be offered only in long-wheelbase 110 form initially and uses the same powertrain as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. This mates a 221kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to a 104kW electric motor.

Land Rover claims the model will offer “substantial torque” that will add to the rugged machine’s off-road capability. The powertrain can achieve 0-100km/h in 5.5sec, a top speed of 210km/h and CO2 emissions of 74g/km. Iain Gray, Jaguar Land Rover’s powertrain engineering boss, claimed that the new plug-in hybrid “balances performance with fuel economy and all-electric off-road capability.”

The Defender P400e features 20-inch wheels and electric air suspension as standard, with its powertrain tuned to allow electric-only running in low-range mode both on and off-road. It can tow up to 3000kg.

Charging of its 19.2kWh battery comes via a Mode 3 connection using a charging power on the left of the vehicle, while a Mode 2 connector available as an option. An 80 per cent charge takes around half an hour on a 50kW rapid charger. Regenerative braking is also used.

Defender 90 goes on sale

The short-wheelbase three-door Defender 90 has now gone on sale, following a coronavirus lockdown-related delay.

It will be offered with the same mild hybrid petrol (not available in Australia) and Diesel engines offered in the larger 110, with the P300 and P400 petrol units joined by the D200, D250 and D300 diesel units.As with the 110, all the Defender 90 models use an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Petrol versions feature all-wheel-drive, while the Ingenium diesels use the new intelligent all-wheel-drive system.

The 90 features the same approach and departure angles as the 110, and Land Rover claims improved breakover geometry when fitted with the option electronic air suspension. The smaller machine also benefits from a turning circle of 11.3 metres.

2021 Land Rover Defender Pricing Australia

Petrol

Diesel

Defender 90 P300 – $71,500

Defender 90 D200 – $78,590

Defender 90 S P300  – $80,390*

Defender 90 S D250 – $87,490*

Defender 90 SE P400 – $95,290*

Defender 90 SE D300 – $89,390*

Defender 90 HSE P400 – $105,190*

Defender 90 First Edition D250 – $104,990

Defender 90 First Edition P400 – $106,190

Defender 90 X D300 – $132,590

Defender 90 X P400 – $134,690

 

James Attwood

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