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Jamie_grieve

Thoughts and musings on the new defender

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Tanuki said:

She's now happy doing the same trip in the Dacia [which, it has to be said, is a hell of a lot of 4x4 for the money].

A Duster is a much bigger vehicle.  Really apples and oranges.

And they are not really an off road vehicle.  Rough road is as far as I would go in one.

Edited by Red90

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Before she retired the Jimny-critical person drove a bunch of 'stuff' including Saxons, Warriors, Cougars and the horrid "Snatch" Land-Rovers for UKMoD in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I guess that's a good foundation for assessing a vehicle's in-service dynamic ability.

Alas I never was able to get her drive-time on a Humber 'Pig' or a Bedford RL. I think she'd have liked the RL - "Always-full-throttle-and-let-the-engine-governor-deal-with-any-traction-issues".

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1 hour ago, Tanuki said:

Before she retired the Jimny-critical person drove a bunch of 'stuff' including Saxons, Warriors, Cougars and the horrid "Snatch" Land-Rovers for UKMoD in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I guess that's a good foundation for assessing a vehicle's in-service dynamic ability.

Alas I never was able to get her drive-time on a Humber 'Pig' or a Bedford RL. I think she'd have liked the RL - "Always-full-throttle-and-let-the-engine-governor-deal-with-any-traction-issues".
 

Well I’ve just spent an hour driving home in mine. I simply cannot relate to the experience you are suggesting. Maybe something was wrong with her one if it was that bad. Certainly something doesn’t tally. 

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3 hours ago, Tanuki said:

Before she retired the Jimny-critical person drove a bunch of 'stuff' including Saxons, Warriors, Cougars and the horrid "Snatch" Land-Rovers for UKMoD in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I guess that's a good foundation for assessing a vehicle's in-service dynamic ability.

Alas I never was able to get her drive-time on a Humber 'Pig' or a Bedford RL. I think she'd have liked the RL - "Always-full-throttle-and-let-the-engine-governor-deal-with-any-traction-issues".
 

Maybe not the best video in the world, but I wouldn't exactly use the words freaky handling or sluggish to describe it.

 

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14 hours ago, Tanuki said:

Top of his likely-list now is a Skoda Kodiaq with all the options ticked.

Funny you say that. In my quest to find a replacement to our beautiful Defender, the second one on the list is the Kodiaq. Indeed it ticks all the boxes, including the 7 seats. It is also much cheaper than the new Defender. Of course, it doesn't look as good as the old Defender, but I can't make up my mind about the new one until I'll see it for real. 

If only the D3/D4 was still produced, I'd probably add it on the list. Alas the new ones are so ugly, looking like some sort of melted balloon. And the price. Of dear, so expensive to buy and so expensive to maintain....

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5 minutes ago, russianfrog said:

Funny you say that. In my quest to find a replacement to our beautiful Defender, the second one on the list is the Kodiaq. Indeed it ticks all the boxes, including the 7 seats. It is also much cheaper than the new Defender. Of course, it doesn't look as good as the old Defender, but I can't make up my mind about the new one until I'll see it for real. 

If only the D3/D4 was still produced, I'd probably add it on the list. Alas the new ones are so ugly, looking like some sort of melted balloon. And the price. Of dear, so expensive to buy and so expensive to maintain....

The Skoda might be a good car. But it isn’t anything like a Defender. It’s a bit like saying you want a replacement for a Porsche 944 and are considering a diesel BMW 3 Series saloon. 
 

Surly the closest alternative to a Defender is a Jeep Wrangler. 

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On 3/3/2020 at 12:37 AM, Chicken Drumstick said:

In the off road world the Defender (and Wrangler and Jimny) are akin to the Elises and Caterhams of the car world. Specials machines, more heavily compromised, more rewarding. And much more focused as their primary intended design direction. You are missing the point if you think I'm referring only to the driving aspect. The Elise analogy is exactly that. If you take away everything that makes it an Elise, is it really an Elise?? QED... is it really a Defender.... if you have removed everything that made it one in the first place.

Most 4x4s sold, including the Wrangler and Jimny in your example, are seldom used offroad. Unlike the Elise and Caterhams, most of those are regularly used for spirited driving and certainly the latter are often found on racetracks. Because they are racecars. The Defender had already become mainly a lifestyle product, rather than being used for offroading or even as a workhorse. Calm, winding roads are a lot easier to find than challenging offroad, so there's more market share for those kinds of cars than for a hardcore offroader. LR continued in the direction already chosen, creating a capable but comfortable vehicle, no doubt because that's were they think most sales are. We don't have to like it, but we can't blame LR for trying to make money. I don't get all the negativity...

Filip

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16 minutes ago, Escape said:

Most 4x4s sold, including the Wrangler and Jimny in your example, are seldom used offroad. Unlike the Elise and Caterhams, most of those are regularly used for spirited driving and certainly the latter are often found on racetracks. Because they are racecars. The Defender had already become mainly a lifestyle product, rather than being used for offroading or even as a workhorse. Calm, winding roads are a lot easier to find than challenging offroad, so there's more market share for those kinds of cars than for a hardcore offroader. LR continued in the direction already chosen, creating a capable but comfortable vehicle, no doubt because that's were they think most sales are. We don't have to like it, but we can't blame LR for trying to make money. I don't get all the negativity...

Filip

I’ve found over the years. That many people on forums claims such things as this. I’d truly love to know where you are getting your facts and figures from? Do you have any reference data to how many of these vehicle are or aren’t used off road?

I have certainly never seen anything.
 

However I would counter and say there are hundreds, if not thousands of videos on YouTube showing these vehicles being used off road by their owners. Which is remarkably odd if you are correct and almost nobody actually does this. Maybe there are far more special effects professionals among us than off roaders ;)

I would also say I’m a member of Jeep and Suzuki forums. And from the membership on those, it would appear a very healthy percentage of vehicles are taken off road. To support this, I’ve only had my Jimny 3 weeks now. And yes it has been off roaded. :)

 

 

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At least 50% of Defender owners use their vehicles off road in my area.

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14 minutes ago, Red90 said:

At least 50% of Defender owners use their vehicles off road in my area.

I would concur. I know a lot of people with Defenders. Farmers and enthusiasts. Nearly all of them go off road to some extent. Many of them frequently. 

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'Off road' is a bit generic.

My Range Rover was bought for knocking the heck out of it for fun. I would never use it as a road car as it was too battered and there was always the worry of a wheel bearing giving way or a brake pad falling out. This would be perfect for an old defender or jimny with modifications like body protection and better tyres but you certainly wouldn't use anything with any value, ie a new Defender. 

My pickup is a work tool, it has to carry people on motorway runs of hundreds of miles, 600kg parts as well as access construction sites in all weathers. That's the offroad bit, in summer you could do it in a transit, in winter you need all terrain tyres. It doesn't need a suspension lift, roll cage, snorkle etc etc, infact those items would make it worse it its motorway work. I wouldn't buy a new defender to replace this as it can't do the carrying and loading by forklift.

Both are driving 'off road' but both a very different vehicle requirement. Which is why the person mentioned above preferred the Dacia to the Jimny. 

Don't forget as well that people on forums do so as they want to know how to use off road or maintain themselves. For every one on the forum there will be several owners who don't know the front from the back and bought it as they liked the look of it. 

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Mercedes just announced they're going to try to bring as much as possible onto one platform: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows-geneva-motor-show/mercedes-reduce-model-line-platforms-and-powertrains

Which once again confirms that designing, building and maintaining multiple platforms just not in JLR's interest if they don't absolutely have to - and they don't, because they can build a perfectly capable car on the platform they already have.

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They didn't build the Freelander on a Mondeo chassis for no reason....  :) 

 

*edit* Freelander 1 on a Rover 200 floor pan, and the Freelander 2 on Ford's EUCD platform, which is shared by the Mondeo, and whole heap of other cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EUCD_platform

 

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18 minutes ago, elbekko said:

Which once again confirms that designing, building and maintaining multiple platforms just not in JLR's interest if they don't absolutely have to - and they don't, because they can build a perfectly capable car on the platform they already have.

I heard from someone connected with the industry that it can cost about a billion monies to develop a platform, which is entirely believable given modern safety & environmental demands and the cost of tooling up a factory... and also explains why JLR re-use so much stuff. They spun one platform out for 46 years, and for a lot of that period it was under every single product in the range.

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Ford spouted that they spent a billion dollars on the design of the Zetec engine when it started production, I'm not sure how much was marketing, but either way it does bring things into perspective. 

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In the dim and distant past, I seem to remember that the Maestro/Montego was actually a Maxi floorpan, cut in half and 18 inches welded into it - so it has been going on longer than a lot think.

 

 

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1 hour ago, elbekko said:

Mercedes just announced they're going to try to bring as much as possible onto one platform: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows-geneva-motor-show/mercedes-reduce-model-line-platforms-and-powertrains

Which once again confirms that designing, building and maintaining multiple platforms just not in JLR's interest if they don't absolutely have to - and they don't, because they can build a perfectly capable car on the platform they already have.

I think these things go in circles tbh. And not just the car industry. 
 

Harmonising and using common parts sounds great in principle or on a balance sheet. But the reality is, sometimes stuff needs to be different and it becomes too much of a compromise. Also you then end up with different versions of a universal platform, because the requirements are different for different vehicles. This you may end up with one platform, but in really just as many bespoke variants that you would have been better off designing from scratch instead and avoid the compromises you had to build in. 
 

Look back at some of the BMC/BL cars as an example. The straight 6 used in the Rover 2000/SD1 could have been brilliant. But was blighted by being forced to used common stud patterns and parts with other engines. And ultimately ended up too compromised. 
 

In reality you can only standardise so far. And the only constant is ... change! I see it all the time in the software world too. 

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55 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

They didn't build the Freelander on a Mondeo chassis for no reason....  :) 

 

*edit* Freelander 1 on a Rover 200 floor pan, and the Freelander 2 on Ford's EUCD platform, which is shared by the Mondeo, and whole heap of other cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EUCD_platform

 

They might have started out as the same platform. The end results however make them almost completely different. And only really sharing some parts. 
 

For example the live axle s197 Mustang (2005) and IRS Jaguar S-Type also share a platform. But the only actual similarities are very small indeed as there was massive divergence. 

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6 minutes ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

They might have started out as the same platform. The end results however make them almost completely different. And only really sharing some parts. 

As different as the XC60,70, the Galaxy, S-Max? 

What ever you *think* , they are the same platform.

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4 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

As different as the XC60,70, the Galaxy, S-Max? 

What ever you *think* , they are the same platform.

It isn’t whatever I think. They just aren’t the SAME. As in they maybe have different pressings, different panels, different sizes. And use different parts. 
 

In most other languages you’d be saying they are different. 
 

If you are adamant you don’t want to believe me. Try fitting a Freelander 1 bonnet or door to a  Rover 200 and see how you get on.  Or a rear hub from the Rover to the Freelander. 

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I'm not surprised that Mercedes want to reduce the model range, have you seen how many they do?

It used to be C, E and S class and G wagon. Then the vans and commercials.

Now it's A, A saloon, B, GLA, GLB, GLC, GLC coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, G, C saloon, c estate, c coupe, c cabriolet, cla coupe, cla shooting brake, cls coupe, E saloon, e estate,  e coupe, e cabriolet, S saloon, s coupe, s cabriolet, slc roadster, sl roadster, maybach. Then the vans and trucks.

Half of it is made from Nissan and Renault parts which are the lowest of the low from my experiences. They started expanding the range to get new customers, then they extended the range to get customers they already had into products they didn't know they wanted. 

The other manufacturers have done the same. I know common platforms and smart manufacturing can give all these ranges with limited new parts or production lines but there has to come a point where there is no business advantage. 

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Body shell or drivetrain components are not part of the platform.

Here's a definition from Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_platform

Some key bits:

 

Quote

A car platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of cars, often from different, but somewhat related marques.[2] It is practiced in the automotive industry to reduce the costs associated with the development of products by basing those products on a smaller number of platforms. This further allows companies to create distinct models from a design perspective on similar underpinnings.[2]

.....and....

 

Quote

A basic definition of a platform in cars, from a technical point of view, includes: underbody and suspensions (with axles) — where the underbody is made of front floor, Rearfloor, engine compartment and frame (reinforcement of underbody).[3] Key mechanical components that define an automobile platform include:

Platform sharing is a product development method where different products and the brand attached share the same components.[4] The purpose with platform sharing is to reduce the cost and have a more efficient product development process.[5] The companies gain on reduced procurement cost by taking advantage of the commonality of the components. However, this also limits their ability to differentiate the products and imposes a risk of losing the tangible uniqueness of the product. The companies have to make a trade-off between reducing their development costs and the degree of differentiation of the products.[4]

The platform is not the same as the car. The bonnet analogy is simply out of scope under the definition of a 'platform'.

With the analogy of software, you could call React a platform( or Library), but are all React apps the same? No.... they have all sorts of bolt on things added to each  app to make it unique, tailored to the end result, which to compare, would be the finished vehicle.

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That is still kinda my point. So little is actually shared between the vehicles. That I simply don’t believe it is a valid reason for LR not being able to produce an actual successor to the Defender. 
 

at the end of day, how much of a platform do you really need to retain to claim it is still the same platform? How is anything ever completely new, when every platform ever will use designs, principles and ideas from past and current ones. 

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Posted (edited)

Video of the Defenders pulling out a stuck truck in Namibia: :


the tweet reads: "International Rescue 1x 400PS 3.0 i6 MHEV with 550NM e-Superchaged & turbocharged 1x 240PS 2.0 4cyl with 430NM turbocharged 💪Each recovery point can take 10t load (2x on each car) Traction helped by @goodyear #Duratrac #newdefender #namibia @DamianBlakemore"

Edited by Naks

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