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Land Rover Defender – Vintage to Futuristic
The very first Land Rover was not a Defender!
Originally in the 40s, the Land Rover Series I had a short wheelbase of only 2,032mm, a 1.6L engine, 50-hp and an unstoppable permanent all-wheel-drive. The short-wheelbase rig barely drove all four wheels through a four-speed manual gearbox with crash gears, meaning it had no synchronizers because of which there was a lot of ‘gear-crunching’. The party trick was to engage four-wheel-drive low and find the nearest muddy field, rev the engine, and side-step the clutch, otherwise the vehicle went sideways and would become unstoppable.
This gave rise to the very first Land Rover 90, 110 & 130 in 1983, which you might remember by the name of “County Station Wagon”. The different numbers in the models represented the wheelbase lengths. Other than the station wagon, it was more popular as the ‘coil-spring’ Land Rover, which had improved riding comfort as opposed to the ‘leaf-spring’ coils from previous models.
Fast forward to another 7 years, Land Rover launched the smash-hit “Defender” in 1990 with the same designations of 90, 110 & 130 from their previous model in 1983. The defender arrived in markets with a 2.5L 4-cylinder that moved with 83-hp and 133 ft.lb of torque through a five-speed manual gearbox and the diesel version gave a more enhanced output of 107-hp and 188 ft.lb of torque. But that’s not all, the defender looked more suave and debonair for its time. You couldn’t help but notice this giant truck capable of seating atleast 12 people with its bold and striking colors on the road!
We know that the defender has its remarkable story to tell, but can you still buy these classic beauties in the UAE? Well, it’s mostly a no, since most people want to cherish their classy defenders till the end of time, but there may be a one in million chance of buying one these in an auction.
Moving on to the 21st century, as we celebrate this legendary truck, it has a come a long way and the launch of the Defender 2020 marks the first true rework of the model since 1983! It returned back to the markets with a similar resemblance to the old boxy charm of the car, but this time with a modern touch to it. This Defender’s urbane ad sophisticated look comes with an unimagined level of comfort & connectivity since the 90s. The first-edition arrived with a 3.0L turbocharged inline-six that fires upto 395-hp ad 406 ft.lb of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. The system controls torque orque distribution between the front and rear axles, and features a two-speed transfer case. To maximize traction on challenging surfaces, the torque transfer is balanced between the axles, though it is possible to send as much as 100 percent of the engine power to the axle with grip.
copyrights: top gear
At the moment. The new defender is Land Rover’s ‘goose that laid the golden egg’. From what we know it is extremely functional and its emotional appeal has made the Defender withhold its iconic presence around the world for the past 70 years.
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