Defender for the future
Land Rover's Defender Concept 100 and Defender Concept 100 Sport have made their Indian debut at the New Delhi Auto Expo 2012. These concepts investigate the potential design direction for a replacement for the iconic Defender.
"The Defender has always been at the heart of the Land Rover Brand and single-handedly defines our go-anywhere, can-do sprit," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. “Our ambition is to create an all new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithful to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable. At the same time, it will be developed for the 21st century and adaptable for the needs of future generations."
Capturing the rugged, dependable and adventurous spirit of the original, the Defender Concept 100 and Defender Concept 100 Sport are intended to showcase the potential breath of capability for the future Defender family. Evolved since their unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011, the concepts now ride on 20-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres.
Shown for the first time in Firenze Red paint with a white roof, the Defender Concept 100 re-invents the essential Defender design cues for the 21st century. These include short overhangs for extreme approach and departure angles, vertical panels, an upright windscreen and strong shoulder line for visibility and ease of positioning and, of course, the Defender 'face' with its signature round lamps and prominent grille, incorporating a winch.
Also in Firenze Red, the Defender Concept 100 Sport takes all these key design cues and adds to them the spirit of freedom first embodied by the early canvas-roofed Land Rovers with their fold-down windscreens to create a concept bursting with California cool.
Of course, no LR would be without their signature technologies for going anywhere. Land Rover's acclaimed Terrain Response system is present, optimizing the car for any conditions without driver pre-selection. A new Wade Aid system uses sonar sensors mounted in the bumpers and wing mirrors to measure water depth. As with Terrain Response, Wade Aid will maximize the car for water crossings by closing body vents, raising the ride height, selecting a low gear and advising on the safest speed.
Sustainability has always been a Land Rover hallmark - more than three-quarters of the almost two million Defenders made are still doing regular duty - and the Defender Concepts extend this commitment with new technologies that will reduce their environmental impact. The first is an intelligent Twin-Solenoid Stop/Start system mated to the latest eight-speed automatic gearbox, both of which have been designed with future hybridization in mind. Second is the unique Driveline Disconnect system, which sends power to the front-axle only unless conditions demand all-wheel drive. Unlike conventional systems, this physically, rather than electronically, decouples the rear-axle to reduce friction losses but can reengage drive almost instantaneously.