Arguably one of the most anticipated new car launches of the 2019 was Land Rover's new Defender. It was unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show in September, and is the first Defender model of the 21st century.
Land Rover says there a number of iconic features which have been passed on through generations of Series Land Rovers and Defenders since the original appeared at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948.
The New Defender 110 is scheduled for South African launch in the first half of 2020 with a short wheelbase 90 derivative set to follow later in 2020.
The 'world's most most iconic SUV'
The latest Defender is the 21st century's take on the go-anywhere SUV of the past. Check out five features which contributed to the Defender’s iconic status, and all of them can be found on the latest iteration:
1. Alpine windows
One of the defining features of all Defenders is the Alpine windows in the upper-rear roof area are specially designed to let light into the cabin. The Alpine name also alludes to their original purpose - offering scenic views when touring mountain ranges.
2. Side–hinged tailgate
A tailgate that swings open like a conventional door has been a trademark of all Defenders, right through to today. On the new model, Land Rover says it gives the Defender its unique rear profile, while also allowing a mounting place for the spare wheel.
Featuring a strong four-layer design, the Defender tailgate’s hinge and strike plate have been subjected to 30 000 test slam cycles in temperatures from -30 to +80 degrees Celsius.
3. Rear-mounted spare wheel
Whether fixed to the bonnet in the early days or on the tailgate later on, the spare wheel has always been handily mounted externally. Apart from being a visual Defender trademark, this mounting position helps achieve a short rear overhang, and therefore steep departure angle. Heavy duty locking wheels nuts secure the spare wheel.
4. Steel wheels
The Defender comes with optional 18-inch pressed steel wheels in Gloss White, and offroad tyres with an outside rolling diameter of 815mm - the largest across the entire Land Rover family.
5. The iconic Defender colour
Right from the very first Series 1 Rovers, when colour choice was dictated by surplus aircraft paint, the iconic 4x4 has come with pale green body panels. More recently, the Heritage Edition Defender was finished in a throwback Grasmere green. The Defender is available with the latest iteration of the recognisable Pangea Green hue.
Compiled by Sean Parker