Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender (initially introduced as the Land Rover 110 / One Ten, and in 1984 joined by the Land Rover 90 / Ninety, plus the new, extra-length Land Rover 127 in 1985) is a series of British off-road cars and pick-up trucks. They consistently have four-wheel drive, and were developed in the 1980s from the original Land Rover series which was launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show in April 1948. Following the 1989 introduction of the Land Rover Discovery, the term 'Land Rover' became the name of a broader marque, and thus no longer worked as the name of a specific model; thus in 1990 Land Rover renamed the 90 and 110 as Defender 90 and Defender 110 respectively. The 127 became the Defender 130.
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|Land Rover Defender|
|Also called||Land Rover 90, Ninety, 110, One Ten, 127 (1983–90) & 130|
|Assembly||United Kingdom: Solihull|
Malaysia: Kulim (Inokom)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small offroader (90) |
Medium sized offroader (110 & 130)
|Layout||Front engine, four-wheel drive|
|Predecessor||Land Rover Series III|
|Successor||Land Rover Defender (L663)|
The vehicle, a British equivalent of the Second World War derived (Willys) Jeep, gained a worldwide reputation for ruggedness and versatility. Using a steel ladder chassis and an aluminium alloy bodywork, the Land Rover originally used detuned versions of Rover engines. The original Defender is still being produced in developing countries despite the arrival of the Land Rover Defender (L663).
Though the Defender was not a new generation design, it incorporated significant changes, compared to the series Land Rovers, such as adopting coil springs front and rear, as opposed to all leaf springs on the previous; except for retaining rear leaf springs on high capacity (payload) models. Coil springs offered both better ride quality and improved axle articulation. Adding a lockable centre differential to the transfer case, gave the defender permanent (on-road) four-wheel-drive capability. Both changes derived from the Range Rover. Interiors were modernised too.
Externally, a full-length bonnet and full-width integrated grille and headlights, combined with (finally) a single-piece windscreen, plus widened wheel arches that covered new, wider-track axles were the most noticeable changes. Initially the engineering department conserved a part-time 4WD system, like on previous models, but it failed to sell any longer, and this option was immediately dropped in 1984. While the engine was carried over from the Series III, a new series of modern and more powerful engines was progressively introduced.
Even when ignoring the series Land Rovers and perhaps ongoing license products, the 90/110 and Defender models' 33-year production run were ranked as the sixteenth longest single-generation car in history in 2020.
In 2020, Jaguar Land Rover introduced the first all new generation of Land Rover Defenders, strongly breaking with tradition, by switching from body on chassis to integrated bodywork, and from live, rigid axles to all around independent suspension. The range was reduced to two wheelbase lengths, and only closed, estate car bodies.