FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT
Chatting to Land Rover owners about a possible replacement to the Defender is a little like canvassing opinion from a Hillary or Trump supporter. Those for or against tech see things in black and white – or maybe Land Rover green, but definitely no grey. Those ‘for’ tech fully get that cars today are significantly more capable than at any previous time in the history of the automobile. New, hot Range Rovers reach a 100 clicks in a sliver over 5 seconds, then their inbuilt-tech takes over on the dunes and they drive through talcum-soft sand as though it were a Gauteng e-tolled highway.
Those against, and there are many, swear by the simplicity of the old Defender design. A design that allowed for easy repairs on the fly and components that could be fitted by owner-mechanics while on tour anywhere in Africa.
Personally, I am rather pro tech. The reliability of high-output engines has grown exponentially and a smidgen of common sense (overloading, over-revving and infrequent filter and oil changes coupled with, let’s call it ‘driver error’) can cure pretty much most offroad maladies before they begin. The upside is a comfortable drive, big savings on fuel and, yes, increased capability without having to resort to vehicle modifications, which start to stress unrelated components and result in your Toyota-owning buddies taking the piss when you are left on the side of the road. Yes, I know revenge is sweet, especially when you get to tow them home or at the very least out of the mud and the sand, but a breakdown is a breakdown, and it’s often expensive and is no fun at all when your wife is whining and the kids are crying and it’s getting dark ...
So rumour has it that the Defender replacement is going to be the highest tech Landy yet. I am keen to hear what you think. Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org (Sorry Anton buddy, but I get a sense your mailbox is going to be full :-) ).
Enjoy the read! Andrew Mark chairman