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Thoughts and musings on the new defender


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18 minutes ago, Tanuki said:

The rear lights are less-than-ideal, but they are a sensible compromise.

The big restriction on placement being the type-approval requirement that the opening of the rear door does not obstruct the parking-lights/indicators (which is why old Discos had the lights in the rear step which replicated the lights on the rear corners).

The rear lights look fine in isolation. But they don't look very "Defender" or Series.... which strikes me as an odd design choice.

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The rears do look odd, but at least the duplication allows a little bit of redundancy in the event of failure or a bump.

The illumination by the reversing lights is awful, they should be twice as bright. It's barely enough to see and doesn't allow enough illumination for the rear cameras.

And all the arty-farty recesses is a pain when cleaning out the mud and dirt. I'd prefer flat lenses but the LR Graphics Department got there first. I guess if they'd been flat then even more people would have said 'Disco 6'.

The fronts illuminate quite well but could be a little brighter. Not as good as (modern) Rangies. The dip-to-main ramp-up when in Auto is nice.

But I don't lose (not loose) too much sleep over this.

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If they’d made the rear lights more similar to the NAS Defender lights, with or without the black plinths, and had them near the body corners, they’d work better, be cheaper, wouldn’t require the ridiculous duplication brought about by poor position of the primary lights and would bark far better to the predecessor.  As it is, they are extremely badly designed, arguably unfit for purpose.- especially the way they hold mud.

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It's a pain to clean I admit but  "unfit for purpose" (even when prefixed "arguably") is a little strong. I doubt if 0.001% of owners will have a problem and any serious mud-plugger will have a pressure washer.

A more important (stupid) design thing is the positioning and lack of protection for the (I think) A/C heat-exchanger. I'm going to make a grille as I already have a couple fins flattened by old Defender owners throwing stones at me :)

 

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Those light recesses will collect not just mud but snow.  That will impede light transmission and visibility.  Unfit for purpose is putting it mildly.  Whoever designed them should go back to designing toasters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mild shock, they popped two tyres on 20" wheels. So unreliable!

Starting to get a little sick of their clickbaity carp. They should've just taken the engine swap on the white one.

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9 hours ago, deep said:

This is a great video, because they took the cars as they came out of the factory and weren't scared to use them on a testing track.  For me, it summarises 149 pages of this thread.  As we know, Land Rover "replaced" the Defender with quite a comfortable car.  To give it some credibility in the rough, they gave the driver the ability to lift it and threw complicated electronics at it (to maximise the limited amount of traction available from a heavy car with relatively small, low profile tyres).  This caused a split amongst us Land Rover fans: those of us who appreciate the comfort and marvel at how well those electronics work, on the rare occasions you need them; and those of us who like practical cars, aren't remotely surprised at the outcome of this video and consider the decision-makers at JLR to be a pack of muppets!  We see both aspects in the video.

Personally, I think you'd either have to have massive brand loyalty or no intention of ever driving any sort of rough track to pick the Defender over that Bronco...

Who’d have thought sensible wheel and tyre sizes were important off road?  Not JLR, evidently…🙄

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15 hours ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

Maybe. But it does highlight that the Defender is not really comparable in this company. Still highly capable mind. But very much a different kind of vehicle and outclassed here and not just in the tyre department.  

It highlights their version of the Defender is not comparable in that company. The one they'd gotted originally on the smaller steelies would've done much, much better. Using the performance spec off-road without modifying it isn't Land Rover's fault, is it? Or are they not allowed to sell it at all?

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10 hours ago, deep said:

Personally, I think you'd either have to have massive brand loyalty or no intention of ever driving any sort of rough track to pick the Defender over that Bronco...

I’d not necessarily say so. If I wanted a vehicle purely in which to play off road and drive that kind of track then the Wrangler or Bronco are clearly the pick of the bunch, they’re pure recreational off road vehicles. Very capable, and very cool.

If I wanted a good all rounder that could ferry me around for work, tow heavy trailers without breaking a sweat, run 1,200 miles to the south of England and back to visit family, carry five people in comfort and safety, and drive that kind of track if I needed to (with the proper tyres) then the Defender is the obvious choice.

1 hour ago, Snagger said:

Who’d have thought sensible wheel and tyre sizes were important off road?  Not JLR, evidently…🙄

Except they clearly do, hence why they offer an 18” tyre option with as much sidewall as old Defender ever had. Just a shame the factory fit tyres are rubbish, no doubt driven by the drive for improved fuel efficiency and emissions, but that’s at least easy to change. The majority of old Defenders left the factory on road tyres and nobody batted an eyelid. 

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I watched that section of the clip many times, I'd have taken different lines in my RRS (also on 20s, road tyres) in both instances.

I'm also not impressed by their driving technique in the ND, you don't drive a Terrain Response vehicle the same way as a 'traditional' off-roader.

Quite unlucky on the second puncture though.

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I've taken an L322 on rougher stuff than that track with 19" wheels, what @Naks says is very true about how you'd drive with or without terrain response. It look me a little while to get used to it when I had the L322 but once you did it was a doddle to drive compared to a vehicle without it. To be honest in general I really wasn't that impressed with their driving technique either. Their comments on articulation were interesting as well - the Bronco doesn't look like it's got anywhere near the articulation that the L322 does even with the "sway" bars disconnected, the Jeep looks similar or slightly more.

33 minutes ago, Retroanaconda said:

If I wanted a good all rounder that could ferry me around for work, tow heavy trailers without breaking a sweat, run 1,200 miles to the south of England and back to visit family, carry five people in comfort and safety, and drive that kind of track if I needed to (with the proper tyres) then the Defender is the obvious choice.

Okay it's not a current model but personally if I wanted something like that I'd be very hard pushed to take a new Defender over an L322 but that's my personal choice (mainly because of the option of having a V8). I have no idea on how good the L405 would be because I don't like the shape of it so have no interest in it.

Even on the TDV8 models you can get an 18" wheel to fit (albeit after market from Compmotive because they made an alloy for the Nemesis that could take 18" tyres but still clear the massive Brembo calipers). Keeping to standard size tyres you can now get decent all terrain tyres in 18 and 19". If you're willing to go up a slight bit on profile (e.g. from a 50 to 55 profile) then you can get all terrain tyres for 20".

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3 hours ago, elbekko said:

It highlights their version of the Defender is not comparable in that company. The one they'd gotted originally on the smaller steelies would've done much, much better. Using the performance spec off-road without modifying it isn't Land Rover's fault, is it? Or are they not allowed to sell it at all?

Is their Defender not a good example of the majority being sold though?

While I personally love the steel wheels. I’ve only seen a hard top fitted with them. All of the others I’ve seen, including the entire fleet at the Land Rover Experience centre at Eastnor where all shod with alloys. 
 

I’d also suspect the majority being sold in the U.K. also don’t have the rear locker either. 
 

As for modifying. I think that is the point, both the Bronco and Wrangler can be bought from the factory in a spec that needs no mods. Or in other words are already modified from the factory. Land Rover just don’t offer anything to this level and the vehicle is far less adaptable to aftermarket mods. 
 

I’m sure if they were modding. Then the Wrangler would have been rolling on 35’s and the Bronco likely on 37’s. 

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1 hour ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

Is their Defender not a good example of the majority being sold though?

It probably is. Fact of the matter is, most people don't do this sort of thing with their vehicles, just like they didn't with the old Defender.

1 hour ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

both the Bronco and Wrangler can be bought from the factory in a spec that needs no mods

Fewer mods*. And, importantly, they actually bought the spec that is suited for off-roading. The Bronco has a luxury spec too, which comes far less equipped for this sort of trail than what they brought. It's not really apples to apples.

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Q

5 hours ago, Retroanaconda said:

I’d not necessarily say so. If I wanted a vehicle purely in which to play off road and drive that kind of track then the Wrangler or Bronco are clearly the pick of the bunch, they’re pure recreational off road vehicles. Very capable, and very cool.

If I wanted a good all rounder that could ferry me around for work, tow heavy trailers without breaking a sweat, run 1,200 miles to the south of England and back to visit family, carry five people in comfort and safety, and drive that kind of track if I needed to (with the proper tyres) then the Defender is the obvious choice.

Except they clearly do, hence why they offer an 18” tyre option with as much sidewall as old Defender ever had. Just a shame the factory fit tyres are rubbish, no doubt driven by the drive for improved fuel efficiency and emissions, but that’s at least easy to change. The majority of old Defenders left the factory on road tyres and nobody batted an eyelid. 

That was theLR off road package - poor tyre and choice combination and no recovery points.  As for the wheel size, aren’t the smaller rims precluded on the big engine versions?

The point of the video is to run the cars exactly how they were delivered by the manufacturer with the off-road option lists specified.  The LR is the better road vehicle for sure, but those simple omissions of a decent tyre size and some recovery eyes make it a poor off-roader.  With bigger diameter tyres with a better tread pattern, it’d be unstoppable, so why is it hobbled?

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39 minutes ago, Snagger said:

The point of the video is to run the cars exactly how they were delivered by the manufacturer with the off-road option lists specified.  The LR is the better road vehicle for sure, but those simple omissions of a decent tyre size and some recovery eyes make it a poor off-roader.  With bigger diameter tyres with a better tread pattern, it’d be unstoppable, so why is it hobbled?

To answer that question you’ll have to ask TFL as they’re the ones who chose the car/spec, or rather accepted the car they were offered when their original one went back.

You can spec on your car from the dealer the rear recovery points (front one is already fitted on all models) and ‘professional off road tyres’ which are Wrangler Duratrac, though my preference would be BFG’s.

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21 minutes ago, Retroanaconda said:

To answer that question you’ll have to ask TFL as they’re the ones who chose the car/spec, or rather accepted the car they were offered when their original one went back.

You can spec on your car from the dealer the rear recovery points (front one is already fitted on all models) and ‘professional off road tyres’ which are Wrangler Duratrac, though my preference would be BFG’s.

I thought the Duratracs were a dealer only fit option not factory? And only very recently introduced if at all yet. Certainly in the U.K.  

also the rear recovery points weren’t on the U.K. configurator unless you bought the X model for about £100k. This might have changed. But I did quiz the guys at the Experience Centre and they had no answers at the time. 
 

Although in fairness, traditional Defenders never came with recovery points either.  

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2 hours ago, elbekko said:

It probably is. Fact of the matter is, most people don't do this sort of thing with their vehicles, just like they didn't with the old Defender.

Fewer mods*. And, importantly, they actually bought the spec that is suited for off-roading. The Bronco has a luxury spec too, which comes far less equipped for this sort of trail than what they brought. It's not really apples to apples.

I dunno. I know lots of people with Land Rovers and Defenders. Even someone with a new Defender. By and large they all go off road. 
 

Maybe it is because I’m in the farming circle and have been around trials and competitions all my life. But I don’t think I personally know anyone who owns a Defender and doesn’t use it off road to some extent. 
 

but I guess it is a bit like not every Porsche or Lotus owner takes their car on a race track. But there is still the expectation that they should excel in that area should they venture into a circuit. With the Defender it’s territory is of course off the beaten track rather than race track 😃

with regards to mods. Not 100% sure what you mean. But suspect you are trying to say you feel the Jeep and Ford are modified because they have greater off road focus. But that isn’t really fair. They are bone stock factory vehicles. In the Fords case the Sashqatch package is available on all trims including base and more road luxury variants. The Jeep is a bit different and only the Rubicon gets the lockers like this. But base spec and Sahara can option a rear LSD and off road tyres still. 

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