More models for Defender
A sales rise inspires confidence, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE mighty Defender is far from defeated. Despite a depressed vehicle market and the dominance of Japanese off-roaders, Land Rover Australia has delivered a vote of confidence in its trusty offroader by broadening the range from two models to eight.
The 2010 line-up includes five 110 (for 110-inch wheelbase) models and three 130s, specifically targeting serious off-road users and commercial buyers with its heavy-duty four-wheel-drive ute and cab-chassis models.
Land Rover Australia spokesman Guido Schenken says there is strong interest from the rural, mining and tradie industries for more variants.
‘‘They’re particularly interested in heavy duty carrying capacity,’’ he says.
Prices kick off at $45,990 for the Defender 110 hardtop and single cab chassis, rising to $53,490 for the 130 crew cab high-capacity pick-up (HCPU).
The $48,990 four-door 110 station wagon, identified by its safari-style windows in the roof, has been responsible for delivering a modest sales spike for Land Rover over the past 18 months and wagon sales have grown 4.5 per cent this year.
The wagon, which has an optional $2000
the seven-seat layout, is now joined by the 110 four-door crew cab pick-up.
Both have airconditioning, traction control, alloy wheels, locking hubs and electric front windows.
The new two-door 110 hardtop is based on the station wagon and gets a single CD player, airconditioning and electric front windows.
Visually it gets a black grille, wheel-arch flares and headlight surrounds, white steel wheels and white roof. It also has sliding rear side windows.
Also new is the 110 single cab chassis, which has the same spec as the hardtop, as well as the 110 single cab high-capacity pick-up (HCPU), which gets a rear canopy.
The 130 crew cab chassis carries over but is joined by the 130 single cab chassis and 130 crew cab HCPU fitted with a wellside body and canopy.
The 130 single cab chassis is fitted with heavy duty suspension and extended tray that can carry 1500kg with a GVM of 3500kg.
Schenken has not ruled out a return of the short-wheelbase Defender 90, which was available in South Africa a few years ago. ‘‘We’re continually looking at it,’’ he says. All 2010 Defenders are powered by a 2.4-litre, 16-valve common-rail four-cylinder turbodiesel shared with the Ford Transit.
The engine develops 90kW at 2200 revs and 360Nm at 2000 revs.
All models have permanent dual-range fourwheel drive with locking centre differential.
Unbeaten: Land Rover is upping the ante on the Defender in 2010 with (left) the longwheelbase 130 crew cab pick-up and (above) the 110 single cab HCPU pick-up.