More on the new Land Rover Defender.

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No, we don’t know what it looks like yet, aside from the heavily camouflaged mule pictured here (ignore the various Photoshopped images of the long-condemned DC100 still floating around).

There were rumors the unveiling would happen before the New Year, but it was not to be.

However, we are learning more about the vehicle, in particular its potential as the “most capable Land Rover ever made for off-road driving,” as the factory is claiming. Note the image above, from the excellent Alloy and Grit magazine (a much-welcome successor to the creepy Land Rover Lifestyle publication of a few years ago).

If the mule’s dimensions are more or less production-ready and the magazine’s measurements are correct, the new Defender will have impressive approach and departure angles. Those shown here, on what appears to be the long-wheelbase version (still to be called the One Ten, I understand), compare very favorably with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, at 44º and 40º.

Another tidbit concerns the possible inclusion of a central tire inflation system, which would be a hugely significant feature. Note the intriguing functions indicated here, such as Puncture Assist Mode and, interestingly, Recovery Mode.


I note that the Recovery Mode only appears to go down to 1.2 bar, or 17.5 psi. That’s low enough for much off-pavement work, but not low enough for soft sand, where 1 bar or below is frequently needed. Still, it would be an extremely useful feature if it shows up even as an option.

These tidbits definitely seem to indicate that Land Rover is indeed intent on making the new Defender very capable. But that capability will inevitably be technology-based, with sophisticated traction-control systems managing power to the all-independent suspension under a unibody platform shared with the current Discovery. We need to keep in mind that the new Defender will be an entirely different vehicle than its predecessor.