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The iconic Land Rover Defender is about to get a new diesel engine that will see it become the ‘greenest’ Defender since it’s original launch back in 1948.

Land Rover have confirmed that the company will show an all-new Defender Concept at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, which would suggest that we’ll see a new series production Defender within a year or two.

The current generation Defender underwent something of a transformation in 2007 that saw considerable improvement in on road manners with more refinement, particularly with the suspension and transmission.

A new Euro5 compliant 2.2-litre diesel powertrain will replace the larger displacement Euro4 2.4-litre engine that powers the current Defender, but surprisingly, power and torque output will remain the same (90kW/360Nm).

With the reduced displacement come lower CO2 emissions, NOx and HC thanks to an improved combustion system and engine management program. Euro5 markets will also receive a Diesel Particulate Filter and emissions output on a combined cycle will be 266g/km for the Defender 90 and 295g/km for the 110 and 130 variants.

On road performance remains largely unchanged although, the Defender’s top speed will increase from 132km/h to 145 km/h.

Thankfully, the current six-speed transmission has been retained with its near perfect spread of gear ratios including a tall sixth gear for economical travel on freeways and the like.

Land Rover has modernised the Defender’s cabin over the years, and while it’s certainly no Discovery inside there. That said there are little or squeaks or unwanted rattles through the fascia, which is a single mould reinforced by a steel rail to minimise any movement between any gaps and the switchgear. CarAdvice recently took a Defender 110 off-road test and can clarify that fact. We will post that review next week along with some great photographs.

The Instruments are well laid out and easily read with full LED illumination.

Storage compartments are plentiful in the Defender too with a huge centre console box that can hold 14-litres of gear.

Land Rover have also improved the HVAC system as well with more robust units, which can deal with the more extreme temperatures that many Defenders operate in around the world.

CarAdvice will be reporting live at the Frankfurt Motor Show and look forward to posting a heap of photos of the new Defender Concept.


  • Richo

    Looking forward to the new Defender concept, was considering buying a Defender but have been holding off on the prospect of an all new model.

    Basically when the all new one is unveiled, I’ll make a decision as to whether I like it and hold off, or I hate it and rush out and buy a current spec one before they stop making it!

    • Power

      Yeah I was going to upgrade my clothes dryer but did not for the same reasons.

      • Richo

        right, ok then…

  • James

    It is a nice look 4wd but I hope they will consider to add some latest safety features eg: Airbags & ESP….. and have auto as well

    • ST

      Safety agree but understand if it doesn’t (come on, it’s a utilitarian vehicle) that’s *not really* meant for suburbia.

      Automatic in a defender is a cardinal sin of the highest order!

      • DGS

        they put an Auto in a Landrover variant for the swiss millitary – but as this was a couple of decades ago, if a war had broken out, those landrovers will still not have arrived on the front line.

        unfortunatly Landrovers habit of picking and choosing engines from other manufactures over the decades instead of building their own and refining it over the same time period, is one of the reasons toyota and mercedes are running rings around them and bleeding them dry of military contracts.

    • JP

      If you have done any serious off-roading, an auto does not work as well as a manual(in vehicles with electrnic aids), such as a steep rocky downhill slope, the auto has a tendancy to run on and accelerate, meaning you have to use the brakes which may cause lock-up (don’t even get me started on how dangerous ABS is going downhill!!).

      The Defender should always be manual only…..

      • JP

        …….sorry I meant “without electronic aids”…Must be Monday morning!!!

      • Joey

        Have you ever driven on sand? An auto is a must

        • Nath746

          If you can’t drive a manual on sand, you shouldn’t be allowed to drive an auto on sand.

          • Ricey

            He probably can drive a manual on a sand… it’s not that hard.  But having owned both manual and automatics and driven them on a lot of sandy beaches, auto diesels are a lot better at the job than manuals.  I used to think the same as you having a manual… when I got an auto to do the job, it was all very easy.  I think manuals are better on the rocky/muddy stuff.

        • ST

          It’s not a must. The only advantage that autos have on sand is that you get the torque multiplication thing going on with the torque converter and that it can change gears quickly for you. I’ve driven many manuals from Foresters, RAV4 to Hilux with cheese cutter tyres on sand and it does the job just fine. Gentle taking off and quick gear changes is all you need.

          • Alex

            Auto on sand is not a must, but why do things the hard way? I never considered an auto until my current ride and now I have it TD and Auto is a dream off road. Manuals are great, but Auto is better. I won’t go back.

            I dare say most manual die hards have never owned an Auto diesel 4WD. They are awesome, one day manual will not exist.

          • ST

            Alex, what hard way?? Getting a tour bus for sand dune runs sounds like a much easier way to forget to deflate the tyres, shifting into D and about techniques to driving on sand.

            Autos aren’t better. It’s just a different form of transferring motive power from the engine to the wheels but whatever floats your boat. I certainly wouldn’t call it better (or worse).

            One day a manual transmission will be seen as a form of theft deterrent.

  • Kieran

    They would sell a lot more Defenders in Australia if the engines weren’t so gutless.

    • DGS

      bring back the 4 litre, 4 cylinder Isuzu turbo diesel as standard eh?

  • Richo

    I’ve owned both manual and automatic 4wds, and despite what some people who refuse to accept that they could possibly be wrong try to say, fact is both have their individual advantages and disadvantages off road, and to suggest that either one is a “must have” in any given situation is simply ignorant.

    • Alex

      FOr most day trippers (which is where the bulk of the market and money is) the Auto is superior. Die hards, and niche markets are the minority and often not representative of the average Mr & Mrs Jones.

      Debating cars is a bit like judging ice skating, ignore the top and bottom 5%.

  • nickdl

    Fuel consumption 266g/km? How about in L/100km??

  • FrugalOne

    So no longer Powered by Ford Transit engine, but now Powered by Jaguar engine!

  • Old dog

    Still not enough power or torque. 0 to 100 in a bit over 20. Fine for running around the hobby farm or going fishing, but as a touring 4b absolutely hopeless. Although the rated towing capacity is quite high, itd be sloooooow journey. Put the engine from the disco in it and I’d buy one tomorrow.

  • Richo

    Old dog, 0-100km/h is rated at just over 14 sec, not 20 sec. Still not great, but no where near as bad as you are falsely claiming

    • Old dog

      …really? The last review I read quoted about 20. I stand corrected if thats the case.

      • Richo

        possibly the figure for the old TD5 engine

  • Tom cargill

    i run 5 of the current defender 130 cab chassis, always loaded, to around 3-3.5t+ gvm on fire trails, the power available does not match what’s on paper, have run 4.2 td patrols and plenty of td 75 series cruisers, the defenders will out perform both these, not a v8 cruiser ute though, but with lower low range and more payload, they are bloody hard to beat.