Land Rover’s new Defender was revealed earlier this week with plenty of fanfare. Nut there was also an equal amount of criticism, with some saying it looked more suited to doing the school run than crossing the Serengeti.
One of the biggest complaints was the purchase price for the reborn version of what was once an iconic utilitarian workhorse that cost just £450 when it launched in 1948.
The cheapest all-new Defender – the three-door 90 – expected to set customers back £40,000, while the most luxurious Defender 110X rings in at a staggering £78,000.
Fortunately, there’s a much more affordable version coming to the market that’s expected to cost £159.99. The only problem is it’s made from Lego.
Built in Slovakia; built in your kitchen: Lego and Land Rover have teamed up to launch a new brickwork Defender that you can make at home rather than wait for one to arrive from the British brand’s new £1billion factory in Nitra
Land Rover has teamed up with the legendary toy maker to release a 1/16-scale Technic version of the new Defender.
It’s no small build, either; in total there are 2,573 pieces that make up the brick off-roader, which features plenty of moving parts.
Lego describes it as ‘an automotive icon you can build at home’, with the kit giving Land Rover fans the chance to piece together a new short-wheelbase Defender 90 that’s loaded with extra equipment you can get for the real thing.
It’s due to go on sale on 1 October, priced from £159.99 and is almost like-for-like with the new SUV, but in a miniature form.
The model is a 1/16-scale version of the real thing. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of a vehicle that’s been splitting opinion this week
In total there are 2,573 pieces that make up the brick off-roader, which features plenty of moving parts
Lego has sold detailed Technic versions of much-loved cars in the past, including the Bugatti Chiron and Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Not only does it look just like the new car, it also has a functioning four-wheel-drive system, fully independent suspension and a straight-six engine that you can see chugging away under the bonnet.
It also has the electric winch (though not actually electric for the Lego model), the standing roof rack and side-mounted ladder, all of which are available as part of a range of accessory kits that are available for the real thing.
The most luxurious Defender 110X ringing in at a staggering £78,000. The Lego Defender will cost from – a reported – £159.99
Not only does it look just like the new car, it also has a functioning four-wheel-drive system, fully independent suspension
It’s a detailed bit of kit. The interior is loads of moving parts, as does the boot with the spare wheel fixed to the tailgate
Niels Henrik Horsted, marketing director at Lego said: ‘Together with Land Rover, we’ve blended elements, design and innovative engineering into a set that shows the boundless creativity of Lego play, and that with Lego Technic you can build for real.’
The Lego Defender could be a big hit for the Danish toy firm, with previous brick versions of cars like the Bugatti Chiron and Porsche 911 GT3 RS proving immensely popular in the past.
There was even a full-scale Lego version of Bugatti’s £2million hypercar.
The real Defender has somewhat divided opinion this week, but the Lego one is expected to garner plenty of fans
The Lego model has many features the real Defender boasts, such as a winch , roof rack and side-mounted ladder, all of which are available as part of the variety of accessory kits for the actual thing
The Lego Technic Land Rover Defender is expected to cost a reported £159.99. That’s quite a lot of money for a toy
That said, some fans of the original might not want a Lego version, based on the reaction to the real thing.
The remake of one of Britain’s most iconic cars has divided opinion among the public, with some describing it as ‘glorious’ while others think it’s an overpriced ‘insult’ to its boxy, functional forerunner.
The Defender, a 71-year-old institution beloved by Her Royal Highness the Queen, featured in James Bond films, deployed by the army and considered the quintessential farmer’s car has been ‘reimagined for the 21st century’.
But critics say its sleek design and plush interior – all for the princely sum of £45,000 – are more suited to Waitrose runs than crashing about on country lanes.
Both the real Land Rover Defender and the Lego one have been unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show
Niels Henrik Horsted from Lego said the model blends ‘elements, design and innovative engineering into a set that shows the boundless creativity of Lego play’. It hasn’t been confirmed if the model will be a limited production like previous Lego cars
One fan decried the dashboard gadgetry, saying: ‘Now I have a 60k iPod that I can’t put the dogs in. Why do we need another disco? (Land Rover Discovery).’
But others claimed to like the new style, one said it looked ‘fabulous’ while another said it was ‘macho’.
Made in Slovakia, the new Defender was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday and Land Rover claimed its silhouette made it ‘instantly recognisable’.
But one fan hit back: ‘They’ve taken a staple country 4×4 and made it into some yummy mummy school run wagon. There’s already enough Chelsea tractors, Porsche cayenne, Range Rover Vogue etc etc.’
Others described its price as ‘insane’ and many shared photos of their original Defenders, saying they had no intention of trading them in.
One proud owner posted a picture of his Defender covered in mud and surrounded by cattle in a field, saying: ‘That new thing you have produced will be no good for what I do.’
Scroll down for This is Money’s first look.
Land Rover’s new Defender – there are two ‘passenger’ versions at launch – the three-door Defender 90, priced from around £40,000, and the five-door 110 costing from £45,240
The Defender, a 71-year-old institution beloved by Her Royal Highness the Queen, featured in James Bond films and is considered the quintessential farmers’ car has been ‘reimagined for the 21st century’
Reaction on social media this afternoon ridiculed the new Land Rover Defender, with some comparing it to cheaper cars from the Far East or to an oversized MINI Countryman, MINI’s 4×4 variant
Pedigree: The final version of the previous-gen Land Rover Defender coming off the production line at Solihull in 2016
The promotional footage for the new car shows it tackling brutal terrain, ploughing through flooded roads and climbing over sandy dunes.
But a Twitter user commented: ‘Where’s the school-run and shopping-centre-trips footage that they’re all inevitably going to be used for?’
Many said it looked much like Land Rover’s other recent models, such as the Discovery or the Freelander.
Others went further still, comparing the new Defender to the Mini Countryman, while others said it did little to distinguish itself from the hugely popular, far cheaper, Nissan and Kia SUVs.
Another upset fan wrote: ‘A defender for footballers wives. You have completely missed the boat on what existing owners want, but you’ll probably make a packet. I’ll be keeping my current 110 till diesel engines are phased out in the UK. It’ll last till 2040.’
One user commented below their video showing dramatic scenes of off-roading capabilities, ‘Where’s the school-run and shopping centre-trips footage?’
The Queen has frequently been pictured at the wheel of her Land Rover Defender, mostly in use on the Sandringham Estate
State of the art ‘cyber security’ built into the new Defender’s system is promised to deter thieves, according to Land Rover
Separated by decades: Having the new Defender pose next to an original Land Rover shows how far vehicle design has come
Jaguar Land Rover ended production at its Solihull factory in the West Midlands in January 2016 amid difficulties in meeting modern safety and emissions standards.
Land Rover said their new model is ‘the ultimate 4×4 for overland adventures’, with a towing capacity of 3,500kg and a wading depth of up to 90cm.
Land Rover chief design officer Gerry McGovern said: ‘The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it.
‘This is a new Defender for a new age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.’
Amid the battle over the car’s appearance, others objected to the vehicle for a more fundamental reason. It’s carbon emissions.
One wrote: ‘Is It electric powered or is it one of those old polluting combustion engines?’
And another said: ‘How many Landcover [sic] customers honestly go off road?…farmers…who mostly have decent old ones…these new ones are town, city cars…they don’t go off road.’
Land Rover tweeted back: ‘True benefits of a 4×4 will only be seen in off-road environments. We’d recommend you visit your nearest approved retailer to arrange a Land Rover Experience day.’
One proud owner posted this photograph of his classic Defender covered in mud and surrounded by cattle, saying: ‘That new thing you have produced will be no good for what I do’
Another proud owner posted this picture of his rugged classic Defender, saying the new variant was designed for mothers off to get a coffee
The Defender name can be traced back to the early 1990s but it represents the continuation of the very first Land Rover, which came on to the scene in April 1948 and was modelled on wartime Jeeps.
The Queen took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952 and has used Land Rovers ever since.
Ready for anything, including collecting a takeaway: Land Rover’s new £40,000 Defender 4×4 offers everything from an electric winch to six curry hooks
By Ray Massey for MailOnline and This Is Money
Land Rover has officially launched its 21st century successor to the iconic 71-year-old Defender 4X4 – the quintessential British off-roader loved by millions, including Her Royal Highness the Queen.
The new Defender is built to be tough enough to tackle any adventure at home or abroad – from Sandringham, to the school run, to the Serengeti.
Unveiled on Tuesday morning at the Frankfurt Motor Show following a stream of high-profile leaks, the hi-tech and hardcore off-roader is the modern day successor to the original rufty-tufty 1948 Land Rover, but ‘reimagined for the 21st century’.
That means it will be ideal for the impenetrable jungles in Africa and Asia, but also just as capable when it comes to navigating the trendy urban jungle of London’s Shoreditch, or collecting a family takeaway in the Shires – with the help of six curry hooks.
It’s back! Land Rover has unveiled the all-new Defender (right) – the return of the iconic model that’s ready for 21st-century living, the British brand says
The eagerly-anticipated new Land Rover Defender was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday morning and is the car maker’s most significant new model for years
Land Rover describes the new Defender – which has been proved to be one of the car industry’s recent worst kept secrets following a string of image leaks – as ‘expedition ready’ and ‘fun without the flaws’ of the ageing original.
But although the new incarnation of the British icon has been designed and engineered in the UK, the new Defender will be built abroad – at Jaguar Land Rover’s massive new factory at Nitra, in Slovakia, giving the firm a foothold within the EU if, as planned, the UK leaves following the growing Brexit row.
The boxy and upright new off-roader promises the traditional go-anywhere ability to traverse deserts, mountains, rocky terrain, and Arctic ice.
It can paddle through rivers and streams to a depth of up to 900mm, aided by the car maker’s first electronic wade programme that’s been tested to the extreme.
In fact, the new Defender has been subject to 62,000 different tests over 744,000 miles in some of the world’s harshest climates from 50-degree desert heat to minus 40 degree Baltic conditions to ensure it is ready to take the iconic mantle.
The new Defender has been subject to 62,000 different tests over 744,000 miles in some of the world’s harshest climates from 50-degree desert heat to minus 40 degree Baltic conditions to ensure it is ready for every eventuality
Gloss white steel rimmed wheels echo those on early Land Rovers for the most basic version available
The boxy and upright new off-roader promises the traditional go-anywhere ability to traverse deserts, mountains, rocky terrain, and arctic ice
Ground clearance of up to 291mm means it can tackle steep angles easier – downhill and uphill.
But it also includes hi-tech features including the ‘X-ray vision’ mode first seen in the new Range Rover Evoque.
This uses exterior cameras to allow drivers to see on the central touchscreen what’s under the vehicle, plus a digital rear mirror – also using cameras – to give motorists a clear view behind unimpeded by passengers.
A new generation infotainment system can connect two smartphones at the same time and the wi-fi connected car is 5G future-proofed by allowing software updates to be downloaded over the air. It can even handle satellite phones, just in case you are taking your Defender into remote areas.
The vehicle’s pioneering ‘terrain response’ system means that experienced off-road drivers can choose the setting they want want for the ground being covered – such as ruts, mud, sand, rock or snow
The Defender can paddle through rivers and streams to a depth of up to 900mm, aided by the car maker’s first electronic wade programme that’s been tested to the extreme
Land Rover Defender: Will it fit in my garage?
Price: from about £40,000
Seats: 5 or 6 (with front middle ‘jump seat’ for three-abreast travel)
Length: 4323mm (without spare wheel) /4583 (with spare wheel)
Width: 2008mm (mirrors folded) / 2105mm (mirrors out)
Height: 1969mm (air suspension) / 1974mm (coil spring)
Ground clearance: up to 291mm
Towing capability: 3,500kg
Engines: Four variants at launch;
Diesel: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder diesel (in 200HP and 240HP variants)
Petrol: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder petrol (300HP), new 3.0-litre straight 6-cylinder petrol (400HP with mild hybrid)
Plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV): To follow next year
Transmission: Permanent all-wheel drive 8-speed automatic .
Fuel consumption (depending on variant): from 29.4 to 37.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 199g/km to 219g/km
Top speed: from 109mph to 129mph
0-60mph: from 6 seconds to 9.6 seconds
0-62mph: from 6.3 seconds to 10.2 seconds
Wheels: 18, 19, 20 and 22 inch
Wading depth: 900mm (aided by first ‘wade’ programme)
Price: from £45,240
Length: 4,758mm (5,018mm with spare wheel)
Width: 2,008mm (door mirrors folded)
Maximum roof load: 300kg static/ 168kg moving
Wading depth: 900mm
Its practical contemporary interior means it’s also perfectly suited for the school run and shopping trips and can tow trailers up to 3,500kg.
And you don’t need to be an expert explorer like Bear Grylls to enjoy the new Defender.
The vehicle’s pioneering ‘terrain response’ system means that experienced off-road drivers can choose the setting they want want for the ground being covered – such as ruts, mud, sand, rock or snow – while novices can simply put it into automatic and let it do it do the work for them.
Land Rover said the new Defender ‘raises the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on road comfort’ offering ‘first class long-haul comfort’ across any terrain and noting: ‘It can negotiate crowded city streets as effortlessly as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and withstanding freezing temperatures.’
There are two ‘passenger’ versions at launch – the three-door Defender 90, priced from around £40,000, and the five-door 110 costing from £45,240.
They come in five trim levels: S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-of-the range Defender X.
A commercial van Defender will also be available, priced from £35,000 plus VAT.
Although a brand new vehicle, the new Defender has many styling and practical cues which hark right back to the original of 71 years ago, updated for modern lifestyles.
Inside, structural elements usually hidden from view have been exposed to emphasise its industrial nature and simplicity.
The first back-to basics utilitarian Land Rovers – for use as agricultural workhorses – were designed to be easily cleaned and hosed out, and the next-generation Defender has continued these traits.
The modern version has durable rubberised flooring allowing the interior to be easily cleaned with a brush or a wipe. And a portable rinse-system to washout mud is also available.
A central ‘jump’ seat – like the one available in the original – gives the option of having three seats up front.
It means the smaller Defender 90 can have up to six seats, while the larger four-door 110 can be specified as a five, six or seven-seater.
Also reflecting the design of the original are the tread-plates on the bonnet and the side-hinged rear tailgate and the option to have the spare wheel on the back.
What is new is the ‘alpine lights’ options, which are small windows near the roof that allow in the light but also let passengers to look up at mountains…or the city high-rises.
An optional folding fabric roof – also echoing the original Defender – gives an open-top feel and allows passengers in the second row of the 110 to stand up when parked to provide the full safari experience.
Gloss white steel rimmed wheels echo those on early Land Rovers for the most basic version available and there will even be side-saddle storage panniers built into the side windows on some models.
But the Defender is not all about extreme outings.
For modern families needing somewhere to hang their takeaways safely when driving home, there is not one but SIX curry hooks and storage space for a couple of two-litre bottles of water – or wheatgrass juice if you’re a hipster.
Ground clearance of up to 291mm means the new Defender can tackle steep angles easily, whether they’re downhill or uphill
Land Rover said the new Defender ‘raises the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on road comfort’ offering ‘first class long-haul comfort’ across any terrain
Although a brand new vehicle, the new Defender has many styling and practical cues which hark right back to the original of 71 years ago, updated for modern lifestyles, Land Rover says
There are lots of accessory packages geared for every eventuality, too – readying you for the rainforests of Kuala Lumpar or the red carpets of Knightsbridge.
The main packs are: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban – you can work out who each one is aimed at.
The most hardened customers looking to make the most of the Defender ownership can customise their SUV with an electric winch, a roof-top tent (taking up to 300kg of weight, which is around four medium-sized adults), a roof rack platform plus the specially designed extendable ladder on the side to get you up there, tow-bar, inflatable waterproof awning, and bespoke air-intake snorkel.
Those who want to get their 4X4s muddy and dirty – without spoiling or scratching the original paintwork – can have a factory-fitted special protective satin film wrap over the bodywork in seven shades, such as Pangea Green, Indus Silver and Gondwana Stone, which can be removed later if desired.
A panoramic glass roof is another optional feature.
The most hardened customers looking to make the most of the Defender ownership can customise their SUV with electric winch
Those who want to get their 4X4s muddy and dirty – without spoiling or scratching the original paintwork – can have a factory-fitted special protective satin film wrap over the bodywork in seven shades
There are lots of accessory packages geared for every eventuality, too – readying you for the rainforests of Kuala Lumpar or the red carpets of Knightsbridge
Explorers can customise their SUV to have a roof-top tent, which can take a weight of up to 300kg, which is around four medium-sized adults
But Land Rover thinks the smaller three-door Defender 90 will be particularly popular with young urban fashion-conscious customers – and has created personalisation kits and big 22-inch wheels to add edgy bling to the mix.
Both the Defender 90 and 110 have four engine variants at launch: a 2.0 litre direct injection 4-cylinder inline diesel with either 200HP or 240HP; a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder inline petrol (300HP); or a new straight six-cylinder 3.0 litre petrol (400HP) with mild electric hybrid. All are linked to an eight-speed automatic gear-box with permanent all-wheel drive. The diesels promise fuel economy of up to 37.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 199g/km.
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version is to follow next year, allowing the vehicle to run for periods in electric-only mode.
Both the Defender 90 and 110 have four engine variants at launch: two diesels and two petrols. There will also be a plug-in hybrid powertrain from next year
Its practical contemporary interior means it’s also perfectly suited for the school run and shopping trips and can tow trailers up to 3,500kg
Land Rover has moved the gear stick from the centre console to the dashboard so that owners can spec their Defenders with a middle ‘jump’ seat. That means the smaller Defender 90 can seat six people in total
Land Rover said the new Defender had been ‘engineered with capability and safety for all the family’.
State of the art ‘cyber security’ is also pledged to deter thieves.
Jaguar Land Rover’s executive director for product engineering engineering Nick Rogers said: ‘Our mission was to reimagine the icon.
‘We have also been obsessed about its off-road capability and about its practicality.. But it must also have agility on the road as well. It has. Its manners on the road are stunning.’
Chief designer Gerry McGovern added: ‘The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it. This is a new Defender for a new age.’
Land Rover features and technology at a glance
– Five trim levels: S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-of-the range ‘Defender X’
– Front middle ‘jump seat’ for three-abreast travel (made possible by dashboard mounted ear-stick)
– Optional folding fabric roof, echoing original, gives an open-top feel and allows passengers I the second row of the 110 to stand up when parked.
– Durable rubberised flooring for easy brush or wipe clean
– Portable rinse-system to washout mud.
– Optional satin protective film ‘wrap’ to protect paint-work
– Six ‘curry hooks’ for carrying take-aways
– Tread-plates on top of bonnet reflect those on the original
– ‘Alpine lights’ – small upper windows allowing passengers to look up at mountains
– Exposed interior structural elements emphasise its industrial nature and simplicity
– Side-hinged rear tail-gate
– Exterior spare wheel on the back
– Lots of interior grab-handles
– ‘Side-saddle’ storage over side windows
– Gloss white steel rims wheel option, like original
– Storage space for two 2-litre bottles
– Four accessory packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban
– Electric winch
– Roof-top tent
– Roof rack platform
– Specially designed side extendable ladder
– Tow bar
– Inflatable waterproof awning
– Bespoke air-intake snorkel
Land Rover Defender: An iconic British car…built in Slovakia
Jaguar Land Rover – which holds three royal warrants – from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles – announced in late April that new generation of its rugged Defender 4X4 will be built abroad in Slovakia rather than Britain.
The shock confirmation to build what is considered a legendary British car on the Continent will be seen by many as a bitter blow for the UK – but the firm has insisted that Brexit ‘had not played a role in the decision’.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Professor Sir Ralph Speth, born a German national, has taken UK citizenship and was recently knighted.
The new Defender will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new £1billion state-of-the art factory stretching over 30,000 square metres and with capacity for 150,000 vehicles a year – with the option to double that – in Nitra, Slovakia, where the the Land Rover Discovery has been built since it opened last October.
The new Defender will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new £1billion state-of-the art factory in Nitra, Slovakia
The plant, opened last October, spans 30,000 square metres and has the capacity to churn out up to 150,000 vehicles a year
Switching production to Slovakia will free up capacity at Solihull to build the flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models, the manufacturer says
Land Rover said the new off-roader and been designed and engineered in Britain – at its growing engineering centre in Gaydon, in Warwickshire – with petrol and diesel engines supplied from its factory in Wolverhampton.
It said switching production to Slovakia would free up capacity at Solihull to build the flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models, including electrified versions of its 4X4, and would be ‘balanced by significant new investment’.
Much is riding on the new Defender which replaces the original iconic, boxy and massively popular Land Rover which went into production in 1948 after its debut at that year’s Amsterdam Motor Show priced from £450.
There is also some sensitivity over whether the new model can recapture the spirit of the original. So much so that Billionaire British petro-chemical tycoon Sir Jim Ratcliffe is planning a rival back to basics Projekt Grenadier 4X4 to fill the gap left by the original Defender.
The outgoing 71-year-old Defender model was built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory near Birmingham until production ceased in 2016.
Land Rover Defender: A brief history
The original Land Rover started life as a squiggle in the sand when, shortly after the Second World War, Rover director Maurice Wilks sketched out a car on a beach near his holiday cottage in Anglesey. It was the workhorse 4X4 vehicle he needed to replace the American army surplus Jeep he was then using.
The first pilot pre-production model called ‘Huey’ after its registration number ‘HUE 166’ and is fully working.
The original Defender began life in 1948 when it made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show as the first Land Rover, created out of aluminium as a practical vehicle for farmers and was meant to be Britain’s answer to the Jeep during the immediate post-war austerity when steel was scarce.
The final version of the previous-generation Land Rover Defender being driven off the production line on 29 January 2016
The outgoing 71-year-old Defender model – much loved and often driven by the Queen, other members of the Royal Family, and Winston Churchill – was built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory near Birmingham until production ceased in 2016. Since then second-hand prices of existing Defenders have soared as they become ‘collectors’ items’ – and increasingly a target for thieves.
Astonishingly, some three-quarters of the two million Defenders ever built since then are said to be still in regular use.
The Defender name itself can be traced back to 1990. It was created to avoid confusion with a new Land Rover launched the previous year called Discovery.
To cheering and applause from the workforce at Land Rover’s Solihull factory near Birmingham, the final Land Rover Defender 4X4 drove off the production line in January 2016 and joined the firm’s heritage collection.
The Royal relationship with Land Rover goes back to 1948 when King George VI viewed the original Land Rover.
The Defender is aimed at everyone, from families needing a car for the school run to those who want to enjoy an extreme outdoors lifestyle
The Queen, who is regularly photographed at the wheel, took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952 and has driven or been driven in Land Rovers ever since. She used a specially adapted one for her first world tour in 1953.
Winston Churchill was given one as an 80th birthday present at his home in Chartwell, while another was used for Pope John Paul II’s tour of England in 1982.
Prince Harry became the first person to enjoy an exclusive sneak-peek at the new Defender at a pre-launch event in Holland ahead of next May’s ‘Invictus Games The Hague 2020’, of which he is patron.