Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia launches all-new 2021 Defender, priced from RM798,800 for 2.0-litre variant
The winner of Top Gear magazine's overall Car of the Year 2020 is now on sale in Malaysia, and it will cost you a precious sum. After a long wait, the 2021 Land Rover Defender has finally arrived. And it's priced right up there alongside the posh Range Rovers with the 2.0L 300PS variant kicking things off at RM798,800. There's also a 3.0L 400PS mild-hybrid variant that tops out at a whopping RM998,800, which is a full RM190k more than a 3.0-litre Range Rover Sport. And that's after the 50 percent sales tax exemption for fully-imported cars is already factored in.
Both variants offered locally are based on the longer Defender 110 platform, which features Land Rover's new D7x architecture built on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction, much like the rest of Jaguar Land Rover's latest, snazziest offerings. This new chassis offers up to 291mm of ground clearance, a 3,022-mm wheelbase that's 99mm longer than that of the Land Rover Discovery and up to 900mm of wading depth. It will also swallow up to 2,380 litres of cargo with a 900-kg payload to boot, plus the ability to tow up to 3.5 tonnes; even the roof will support 300kg should you need the extra haulage.
To move such quantities, the 'base' 2.0-litre variant is powered by the company's Ingenium engine good for 300PS at 5,500rpm and 400Nm of torque that gushes in from as early as 1,500rpm. Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this Defender will do 0-100kph in 8.1 seconds, which isn't bad at all for a car that tips the scale at about 2.3 tonnes. Naturally, the 3.0-litre 400PS six-cylinder model with a 48-volt mild hybrid system is the quicker of the two. With an extra 100PS and 150Nm at its disposal, the range-topper does the century sprint two seconds quicker (6.1 secs), although top speed for both variants is capped at 191kph.
Like all Land Rover products, the ability to go anywhere ranks high up in the Defender's list of skillsets. Adaptive damping comes from a new electronic air suspension, which monitors body movements up to 500 times per second to constantly optimise control and comfort on the go. There's up to 145mm of adjustable ride height, allowing wheel articulation to increase up to a maximum of 500mm to better cope with varying terrains. To top it off, a twin-speed transfer box helps with steep slopes, towing and getting out of sticky situations.
The high-tech portion of the new Defender's equation includes things like the nifty 3D surround Camera with ClearSight Ground View (and Rear View), Matrix LED headlights, a 'Wade Sensing' system a new Pivi Pro infotainment hooked up to a Meridian Sound System that's compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Land Rover Malaysia has hinted that the range could expand to include Defender 90 body styles in the future, as well as diesel powertrains. For the time being, the first shipment of petrol-powered 300PS and 400PS models has been completely sold out, such is the allure of the Defender badge and what it stands for. It may be closer to a full-fledged Range Rover in size, price and concept, but the new SUV is still very much Defender in spirit if its styling and wide array of versatility-boosting accessories are anything to go by.
Now, where can we find an extra million Ringgit?