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New Defender at RTV

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My local Land Rover club held one of it's monthly RTV trials this Sunday. There was a really good turn out for a fairly smallish local club and the sections where superb. But among the entrants was a new 2007 Defender. It was a basic hard top in Keswick Green with a white roof. All it had done was jate rings fitted to the front a tow ball at the back to pass scrutineering and a nice set of white 8 spokes with some General Grabber tyres.

It looked frigging awesome, the colour really suited it with the white wheels and roof adding a very nice contrast.

It had a fantastic stance, the power bulge really gave it an aggressive appearance and looks way better in the flesh than in pictures. In fact the people who say they don't like the power bulge probably haven't actually seen a new Defender yet or are the type of person who hates Series III's because the headlights are in a different place to a Series II.

It also appeared to sit a little higher than its older counter parts, lots of ride height clearance between the wheels and arches and I don't think it was down to the tyres either (235/85's). You could also see how much more flexy the new suspension setup was, as the Defender was being driven you could see the wheels moving up and down much more than on previous models, in fact it made it look like it had some fancy aftermarket suspension.

More praise goes to the steering, not sure of the changes but some of the components certainly look slightly different under there and proof in the pudding was it not only looked like it had loads of steering lock but was easily out turning vehicles on narrower tyres with the steering stops wound in.

Fit and finish appeared to be excellent as well. The new dash actually works very well and much to my surprise hasn't taken away any of the charm that is a proper Land Rover.

The most praise must go to the new engine though, sure it looks clustered under the bonnet, but show me any new car today that isn't. And true it may not sound like a Land Rover as we know it, but there's no denying the performance. The low down torque and anti-stall are quite evident at being far superior to all previous Land Rovers.

On the very loose sandy surface it was hard to pull away uphill without either stalling or spinning the wheels due to needing revs, a TD5 would have made a real drama of it, the new 2.4 didn't bat an eyelid, didn't need any revs, didn't stall and didn't so much as hint at spinning a wheel. And considering the General Grabber tyres where not of the aggressive variety made it even more impressive.

Overall I'd have to give it a BIG thumbs up, it is quite simply superb :D

As for the results, well how about 5 clears in a row. FIRST overall and only 3 points after 8 sections. And this was against some pretty well sorted and prepped machinery.

New Defender is top of the pile :)

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