Go anywhere Defender now requires a plug

LR DEF PHEV 21MY 090920 02 ND

Land Rover’s new Defender gains a Plug-in hybrid model as well as a new straight-six turbodiesel.

The new Defender has started to make its mark on SA car buyers by jumping to the top of Jaguar Land Rover’s sales chart in August 2020. It sold some 125 units, more than double any other model in its local lineup. New engine versions and additional packs were always part of the expansion plan for Defender and it’s now time for the plug-in Hybrid model to make an appearance in the range. The plug-in hybrid model is likely to be sold in SA with JLR making an announcement next month as to its arrival.

The plug-in model uses the same running gear as the Range Rover Sport hybrid, bolting a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine to a battery-powered electric motor. The total power output of the engine is a combined 301 kW, with the combustion engine delivering 220 kW. A 19.2 kWh battery can be used to drive the new Defender 43 km before requiring a recharge. It can also be used in low-range, which could make for an ultra-silent game viewing vehicle. Fuel economy benefits from the plug-in hybrid amount to impressive claimed figures of 3.3L/100 km while its 0-100 kph sprint time of 5.6 seconds will have every GTI driver worried.

The plug-in model is also joined by the news of a new straight-six turbodiesel engine. It uses mild-hybrid technology to improve fuel economy for short periods such as when accelerating. The system is able to recuperate energy when braking and then redeploy it to assist during accelerating, thereby reducing the load on the diesel engine at low speeds.

The six-cylinder turbodiesel is good for 220 kW and 650 Nm of torque in D300 specification level. This same engine could also replace the current D240 locally and be renamed the D250 but with power outputs of 183 kW and 570 Nm. There is also talks of an entry D200, using the same straight-six but with 147 kW and 500 Nm of torque. That would mean 3 versions of the same engine. Fuel efficiency claims for the D200 and D250 are said to be 8.8L/100 km on the Defender 110.

We should hear from the local arm of JLR on the 18th October as to which models will be available locally.

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