Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon 2012 Review

November 28th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Go back to the late 1940s and you’ll find a fledgling off-roader scrabbling for traction in a post-War economy. The market for luxury cars was pretty sour after the War, but plenty of utility vehicles were needed for farming and industry as the world rebuilt itself. Along came the Land Rover Series I.

Sixty years later, while almost every other vehicle has evolved into something better-handling, more comfortable and faster, the Series I eventually became the Defender, making just incremental improvements, and remaining a no-nonsense and versatile mud plugger aimed at specialist applications off road.

To be perfectly honest, on the road the Defender is Continue reading “Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon 2012 Review” »

Land Rover shows two Defender concepts at Frankfurt

September 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For sixty two years old the Defender has been put through a variety of duties around the world and now Land Rover is getting busy developing its replacement. To show fans its progress Land Rover has just revealed two dashing new concepts for the iconic Defender at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Named DC100 and DC100 Sport, the two concepts showcase the direction and thinking behind the ongoing development of the new Land Rover Defender, intended for production in 2015.

Defender purists have always respected the off-road machines rugged ability and simplicity, that’s why almost 2 million units have been sold over the years. Land Rover Director, John Edwards, was quick to reassure fans that the Defender’s core character will remain unchanged.

“The Defender was loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design,” says Edwards. “We are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.” Continue reading “Land Rover shows two Defender concepts at Frankfurt” »

Land Rover to start production in India

August 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Tata Motors big cheese Carl-Peter Forster has just announced that Land Rover production would begin in India in 2011. So far there is no word on which model exactly would be built in the sub-continent but the T5 platform used on the current LR4 and Range Rover Sport seems a likely option. The T5 platform is also expected to be used on an upcoming replacement model for the iconic Defender range which is expected to be launched sometime in 2012.

Forster also announced that Jaguar is looking for a partner to produce cars within China. Because Chinese law dictates that foreign automakers are required to work with local companies in China, Jaguar is in negotiations for a production deal in the rapidly developing nation. China’s luxury vehicle market is still experiencing growth and local production would undoubtedly make it easier for Jaguar to get a much larger share.

New Land Rover Defender due in 2014

March 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

A replacement for the venerable Land Rover Defender, has been given the green light by Indian parent company Tata. The Defender is now 62-years-old and a replacement is finally expected in 2014, and is being worked on now under the codename Project Icon.

So far it seems that few details have been decided about Project Icon other than its codename and its status in the Land Rover line-up, which is at the very top. Sorting out a way to differentiate the new Defender from the previous model will be part of the work to be done, as well as creating a platform and powertrain. The current platform may prove too heavy to serve for much longer with the new European efficiency regulations.

In terms of powertrain there is already talk of a hybrid set-up. Land Rover has been developing an Electronic Rear Axle Drive technology that was put into a Freelander hybrid two years ago, it consisted of a 288-volt motor with 34 to 47 horsepower and 147 foot-pounds of torque drove the rear wheels and could drive the front set when needed.

Is a Defender hybrid just crazy enough to work? Only time will tell.

Land Rover Defender SVX limited edition

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Showcasing the Land Rover Defender SVX off the road.


Land Rover MD Phil Popham – NZ interview

October 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Land Rover will be developing cars with more appropriate technology for the market niche they are aimed at. That is the message from the company’s Managing Director, Phil Popham who popped into Auckland for lunch recently on his way to Australia from Britain.

“Our cars will be engineered appropriately for the people who buy them,” he said. “The new small Range Rover won’t be a boulder crawler, but it’s still got to be the best on road Land Rover LRX concept front cornerand off road vehicle in its class.”

That vehicle, the LRX, has been confirmed for production and will be on sale in about two year’s time. But the iconic Defender — the descendant of the original 1949 Land Rover – has to be a very 4WD capable said Mr Popham.

Making the technology appropriate for where it will be used is why Land Rover has patented its Terrain Response 4WD system. “It gives a great breadth of capability yet has benefits in everyday use too. I think we have listened to the changing demands of our customers,” said Mr Popham. “We have evolved and developed cars to meet their expectations.”

He cited the Discovery as a classic example. “It created a new 4×4 market segment 20 years ago. “More upmarket than the Defender, but below the Range Rover. It was the first 4WD with ABS and airbags and has come a long way in the last two decades. Now Terrain Response makes it very adaptable.”

While it has a quality soft feel interior it still has very good off road capability and durability.

Land Rover LRX and Series 1Mr Popham said Land Rover — Range Rover buyers will still expect a premium high specification vehicle with technology leadership in the future. “Customer research has shown they don’t want a downgraded car, but also require more fuel efficiency and sustainability. People will still want to carry or tow loads and have up to 7 passengers. There is still a place for us in the future.”

Mr Popham said reducing weight of all products in the company’s range was crucial as customers still wanted a myriad of high tech features. Land Rover was exploring all avenues of fuel saving and making its vehicles more efficient he said. “There is no silver bullet. Hybrids are only one answer but expensive.”

Stop — start technology is going into manual gearbox vehicles now, although getting it to work with automatics was harder said Mr Popham.

And the company is looking at electric vehicles. “We will have different technologies for different cars.”

Land Rover LRX rqWeight reduction and development of current petrol and turbo diesel power plants was still bringing good results said Mr Popham. The company’s fleet will have 25 percent less emissions in 2012 compared to last year, largely through development of existing technology and going on a diet.

“If we can get the weight out we can use smaller more efficient engines,” he said.

Land Rover is continuing to invest heavily in the future. The 2010 model Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport and full sized Range Rover due here at the end of the year have had 400 million pounds sterling spent on them.

“These models have better economy in basically the same architecture. When we replace them I can guarantee the new cars will be lighter and even more efficient.”

And the company has twice that sum earmarked for research and development over the next four years.

The iconic Defender is good for another four years said Mr Popham. “We can keep it legal — meeting safety and emission regulations — until 2013.”

CC News Land Rover Defender 60 Special Edition 231107And Land Rover wants to replace it. “We sell about 25,000 Defenders world wide a year. There is still consistent, strong demand for it.”

But a replacement will have to be manufactured on a more modern platform that can be shared with other models in greater volume.

With the company not dependent on any one market or region for its survival — Land Rover now sells in 165 markets — it is increasingly been perceived as a premium western brand, rather than a British marque, said Mr Popham. “Brazil, Russia, India and China have been good for us and although all have had recession in the last two years it’s all been at different times.”

China is now Land Rover’s third biggest market after Britain and the United States.

The increasing global diversification of the company saw it sell 35,000 cars in new markets in 2007 — countries that it did not compete in last century.

Land Rover’s future is assured with investment in a constantly renewed product line-up and evolving technology to meet the needs of the future, said Mr Popham.

Land Rover MD Phil Popham – NZ interview

October 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Land Rover will be developing cars with more appropriate technology for the market niche they are aimed at. That is the message from the company’s Managing Director, Phil Popham who popped into Auckland for lunch recently on his way to Australia from Britain.

“Our cars will be engineered appropriately for the people who buy them,” he said. “The new small Range Rover won’t be a boulder crawler, but it’s still got to be the best on road and off road vehicle in its class.”

That vehicle, the LRX, has been confirmed for production and will be on sale in about two year’s time. But the iconic Defender — the descendant of the original 1949 Land Rover – has to be a very 4WD capable said Mr Popham.

Making the technology appropriate for where it will be used is why Land Rover has patented its Terrain Response 4WD system. “It gives a great breadth of capability yet has benefits in everyday use too. I think we have listened to the changing demands of our customers,” said Mr Popham. “We have evolved and developed cars to meet their expectations.”

He cited the Discovery as a classic example. “It created a new 4×4 market segment 20 years ago. “More upmarket than the Defender, but below the Range Rover. It was the first 4WD with ABS and airbags and has come a long way in the last two decades. Now Terrain Response makes it very adaptable.”

While it has a quality soft feel interior it still has very good off road capability and durability.

Mr Popham said Land Rover — Range Rover buyers will still expect a premium high specification vehicle with technology leadership in the future. “Customer research has shown they don’t want a downgraded car, but also require more fuel efficiency and sustainability. People will still want to carry or tow loads and have up to 7 passengers. There is still a place for us in the future.”

Mr Popham said reducing weight of all products in the company’s range was crucial as customers still wanted a myriad of high tech features. Land Rover was exploring all avenues of fuel saving and making its vehicles more efficient he said. “There is no silver bullet. Hybrids are only one answer but expensive.”

Stop — start technology is going into manual gearbox vehicles now, although getting it to work with automatics was harder said Mr Popham.

And the company is looking at electric vehicles. “We will have different technologies for different cars.”

Weight reduction and development of current petrol and turbo diesel power plants was still bringing good results said Mr Popham. The company’s fleet will have 25 percent less emissions in 2012 compared to last year, largely through development of existing technology and going on a diet.

“If we can get the weight out we can use smaller more efficient engines,” he said.

Land Rover is continuing to invest heavily in the future. The 2010 model Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport and full sized Range Rover due here at the end of the year have had 400 million pounds sterling spent on them.

“These models have better economy in basically the same architecture. When we replace them I can guarantee the new cars will be lighter and even more efficient.”

And the company has twice that sum earmarked for research and development over the next four years.

The iconic Defender is good for another four years said Mr Popham. “We can keep it legal — meeting safety and emission regulations — until 2013.”

And Land Rover wants to replace it. “We sell about 25,000 Defenders world wide a year. There is still consistent, strong demand for it.”

But a replacement will have to be manufactured on a more modern platform that can be shared with other models in greater volume.

With the company not dependent on any one market or region for its survival — Land Rover now sells in 165 markets — it is increasingly been perceived as a premium western brand, rather than a British marque, said Mr Popham. “Brazil, Russia, India and China have been good for us and although all have had recession in the last two years it’s all been at different times.”

China is now Land Rover’s third biggest market after Britain and the United States.

The increasing global diversification of the company saw it sell 35,000 cars in new markets in 2007 — countries that it did not compete in last century.

Land Rover’s future is assured with investment in a constantly renewed product line-up and evolving technology to meet the needs of the future, said Mr Popham.



Next-gen Land Rover Defender planned

October 6th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Land Rover Defender SVX

There are few vehicles as iconic and as instantly recognisable as the Land Rover Defender. Boasting six decades of production, the classic boxy go-anywhere vehicle is finally due for an update, and according to the recent reports, it’s already underway and appropriately named Project Icon.

The Land Rover design team is secretly hard at work on the project, with aims to update the classic Defender with modern design principles while retaining its simple, efficient competence. Unlike most of its current peers, the new Project Icon vehicle is expected to pass on aluminum for a dependable and rugged steel chassis borrowed from the current Discovery and Range Rover Sport models.

The Project Icon truck will be most likely initially built only in England, but there are plans to send it to China, Russia, India and elsewhere in knock-down form for final assembly down the road.

Upgrading the Defender to the T5 chassis will mean independent suspension, and a choice of steel or air springs depending on the application. Power will most likely come from the company’s existing lineup of four- and six-cylinder diesels.

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