The new Land Rover Defender raises the bar for on-road dynamics. Its purpose-engineered architecture is based on a lightweight aluminum monocoque chassis to create the stiffest body structure the brand has ever produced. The Defender’s structure is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs and has been engineered to withstand extreme conditions. The in-body chassis helps to provide a foundation for the fully independent air or coil-sprung suspension while supporting the latest electrified powertrains.
The vehicle was designed strategically using different materials for certain benefits.“To retain the famous Defender silhouette, accommodate a family of body styles, and support the latest range of powertrains, the Land Rover brand has developed the new all-aluminum D7x platform,” stated Land Rover. “It has the unique combination of practicality, flexibility, and capability expected from a 4×4 wearing the Defender name and doesn’t share a single body-in-white panel with another Land Rover model. This commitment to engineering integrity means the Defender has its own line in body assembly at the new manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.”
The monocoque construction gives extra strength to the vehicle. The roof is strong enough to handle a dynamic load of up to 370 lbs of cargo and a static load of 661 lbs. “The body of the new Defender is aluminum-intensive, and other materials are used strategically around the body and vehicle,” said Andre Brudnicki, a Land Rover spokesman.
The vehicle is further strengthened by an exposed powder-coated magnesium cross-car beam, which can be finished in different colors. “This structural die-cast magnesium alloy beam, which is available in a range of finishes, features integrated grab handles to aid entry but also for a secure grip when the vehicle is performing technical off-road maneuvers,” said Land Rover.
The Defender also features permanent four-wheel drive, a twin-speed automatic gearbox, and a maximum towing capability of 8,201-lbs making it an ideal companion for overland adventures.
A Ticket to Outdoor Adventures
Land Rover vehicles are known for their on and off-road versatility, while still retaining pristine luxury and comfort. Defenders are fit for extreme outdoor adventures, and they are the toughest, most capable model yet. The vehicle’s proportions were optimized to reach a well-balanced design with short overhangs that help increase aerodynamics. Professor Gerry McGovern, chief design officer for Land Rover, hopes the Defender will perform as an “honest work-horse, and a passport to new adventures that creates freedom for the driver and the passenger.”