The iconic Land Rover Defender has made a comeback after being discontinued, and was launched in South Africa through a livestream event on Thursday, 16 July. 

We first heard about the New Defender officially last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, which subsequently saw over 12 000 South Africans use Land Rover’s online configurator to build their own virtual car.

The New Defender will be available in two models, the 110 (five door) and 90 (three door); with the former being currently delivered to customers who pre-ordered. The Defender 90 models will be coming later in the year. 

Each vehicle can be configured to one of four distinct personalities: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. The most popular configuration amongst South Africans were for the Defender 110 in the Adventure pack, which includes a bright rear scuff plate, an integrated air compressor, portable rinse system, a seat backpack and a spare wheel cover.

Land Rover says each model, the 90 and 110 will be available in a range of efficient yet powerful engines including a D240 diesel and a P300 petrol. The range-topping model at launch will be a P400 straight-six petrol with mild-hybrid (MHEV) engine technology. Trims available are the Standard, S, SE, HSE specification packs, including an exclusive First Edition pack.

Orders and pricing were announced in March 2020 in South Africa, with a base model D240 Standard with 177kW of power from R948 000 for the Defender 90 and from R999 000 for the Defender 110. The standard petrol versions are R948 000 for a 221kW P300 Defender 90 and R999 000 for the identical model in the Defender 110.

For most of you reading this blog, you know a lot of my car write ups are based on me driving the vehicle and sharing my experience from the launch event. The global pandemic and lockdown means no physical media events just yet, with some brands, so it’s difficult for me to say anything other than anything factual, versus my experience.

Defender 90 (three door; love this colour)

Land Rover South Africa also announced a renewed partnership with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation to continue its life-saving humanitarian work. The two new Defenders provided to the foundation will replace its Discoveries, which served father and son duo Kingsley and Ross for three years and more than 250 000km combined.

I will post more about the car, the drive, the tech inside it when I get an opportunity to drive the vehicle. Hopefully soon.