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New Defender blows hot and cold

2009-06-09 12:36
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Land Rover
Model Defender
Engine 2.4l, four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power 90kW @ 3 500r/min
Torque 360Nm @ 2 000r/min
Transmission Six-speed manual
Land-Rover’s Defender is the antithesis of the SUV fashion accessory. Or is it?

Witness then, the Land Rover Defender Fire & Ice range.

Although most ardent Defender acolytes will no doubt think of hanging themselves with their snatch straps, Land-Rover is keen to cash in on the brand’s image – even if it means pandering to new owners Tata’s more outlandish ideas.

It's pretty much your garden variety Ford Transit powered, ladder-frame chassis and coil-sprung Defender embellished with all manner of detailing unbecoming to an off-road vehicles. It makes little sense, but will surely sell well in style obsessed first world markets.

Land Rover says the Fire & Ice range is inspired by the most rugged landscapes on earth, we think it’s a rather cynical parts-bin branding exercise featuring hideously expensive paint..

Both models feature black roof and bonnet finishes. Sporting a Vesuvius orange lacquer, the Fire model could make a great survival vehicle as it would be impossible to miss in the bush when rescue crews are trying to locate you...

Its sibling - Ice – is rather unsurprisingly finished in Alaskan white, a colour which is in turn, not at all dissimilar to standard Defender white…

The colour schemes are repeated on the Defender’s mercifully redesigned centre console too.

Seats are heated and the cabin is disconcertingly trimmed out in a blend of leather and Alcantara, and we all know just how hard-wearing the latter is...

Five spoke diamond turned alloy wheels aim to further distinguish these Fire & Ice models from their standard Defender sibling. One cannot help but question the validity of exquisitely turned out alloy wheels on what is supposed to be a utilitarian off-road workhorse.

Both front and rear illumination configurations differ slightly from the stock Defender too, with an SVX inspired front headlamp design, and LED-embedded rear lights. LED lights on a Defender – is the sky falling or what?

Land Rover has shored up off-road ability by providing an extra skidplate for the steering rack.

Production will be limited to 850 units, with rather lofty prices.

Depending where in the Europe you manage you wangle registration for these Defenders, prices start from €37 065, yet go as high as €68 400.


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