View from the press: Defender 90 and 110 Models
Mar 23, 2020
When it comes to off-road vehicles, the only sensible choice for hardcore off roader is the Land Rover Defender, says Jonathan Klein of Automobile Magazine.
Jonathan, who took the 110 Defender and 90 Models out for a test drive in Malibu, California, believes the iconic Defender is both a no-frills ‘rock crawler’ and a ‘sophisticated urbanite’ in the same vein.
Read on to find out what Jonathan had to say...
Nicknamed The Beast, it features a new sub frame, differentials, upgraded off-road suspension, a Kahn Design wide-body kit with a full exterior roll-cage, Warn Winch, Kahn Design wheels, BFGoodrich tires, upgraded interior including Corbeau racing seats, a new dash and instrument panel, and a host of other modifications.
The Beast has been through an extensive and extreme build to date, and has a price tag — apparently still climbing as of this writing — of $210,000.
Both the 90 and 110 feature a Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 crate motor. You probably won’t be stuck on the side of the road in these Defenders.
The Humbles also hinted the company is looking into other engine swaps, including a dry-sump LS7 and Chevrolet’s 650-horsepower LT4 supercharged V-8 found in the C7 Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V.
I hop into the 110’s leather-lined bucket racing seats — similar to the sport seats found in the Jaguar F-Type SVR and Range Rover Sport SVR — eager to play with the monstrous truck on the dirt roads of the lemon orchard we have use of.
I turn the key to the sound of … silence. The engine doesn’t even crank. Ten minutes later, the battery and engine are separated, and I’m in the more street-prepped 90, instead ripping through some tight and sandy paved roads.
I head into the lemon orchard’s tangled web of off-road trails that lead everywhere and nowhere. The squeaks and rattles are a little louder but no worse than any other true off-road vehicle. Drowning the noise is easy, though, with 430 horsepower available.
Ripping the Defender through the tight maze, the sound of American displacement singing through the trees, this may as well be the Dakar rally.
The knobby tires grab and hook the loose dirt, gravel, bark, and sand that make up the trails, sending rooster tails shooting into the air as the speedometer needle climbs. The racing seats now make perfect sense.
And it couldn’t squeak or behave like a normal Defender; it had to be solid, almost Bentley-esque no matter the terrain.