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Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) says its new-generation Defender will need a “balanced engine portfolio” in order to succeed in all global markets – that’s why prototypes are using cleaner-burning turbocharged 2.0-litre engines from the company’s Ingenium range of five four-cylinder units.
Defenders undergoing tests in Britain, Europe, and the United States are trialing 2.0-litre petrol and diesel Ingenium engines, although JLR won’t confirm the identity of the powertrains.
Registration data held by Britain’s Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) confirms that a four-door Defender prototype undergoing trials near JLR headquarters is using a 2.0-litre turbodiesel, one of three oil burners in the Ingenium line-up. Other prototypes are powered by the two 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engines.
All five engines have already appeared in the Jaguar range. There the two petrol engines, both designated Si4, generate 176kW/340Nm or 213kW/400Nm. The three diesels, the base model Td4 and the two more powerful SD4 units, respectively produce 110kW/380Nm, 132kW/430Nm, 176kW/500Nm.
JLR says C02 exhaust emissions range between 129 and 165 grams/km. Also being trialed and mated with each Defender engine is what is understood to be a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, another development stage in JLR’s pledge to electrify all its models post 2020.
The new Defender will have an aluminium body built on an aluminium chassis and will utilise parts from other Land Rover vehicles. But it is not a replica of the original, now in its 71st year.
For starters, it has to meet US safety and emission standards, something the existing Defender didn’t do. It hasn’t been sold in the US since 1997. Defenders, both 90 and 110 models, imported into the US illegally since then have mostly been crushed and sold as scrap.
Those that are more than 25 years old – under a law that applied from 2014, therefore allowing in 1989 models on – can be imported into the US as classics. Top quality 109 and 110 models especially have sold for upwards of US$100,000.
Expect to see in the new Defender things like air suspension, terrain-response selectable off-road driving modes, independent suspension, and the latest driver assistance, entertainment, and safety features.
JLR chief Dr Ralf Speth has said the vehicle will be “even more capable” off-road than the outgoing model. “I have driven test mules already … and also tried the car against competitors, in on and off-road environments. It’s sensational,” he said.
Land Rover is planning to introduce a series of Defender models, spanning a variety of shapes and bodystyles. Land Rover’s chief marketing officer Felix Brautigam has said: “One of the exciting things for us is that we are not launching a car, we are launching a family of cars.”