As Land Rover celebrates the 55th anniversary of the launch of its first vehicle, the iconic Defender - the direct descendant of the original Land Rover - receives further enhancements for 2004.
The Defender is the embodiment of Land Rover's philosophy of constant evolution and although the current vehicle can trace its familiar shape back to the 1948 original, today's Defender is a completely different vehicle.
A series of upgrades over the past two years, saw the introduction of central locking, electric front windows, improvements to the heating and ventilation system and a revised facia, making current Defenders more comfortable without losing any of the practicality the vehicle is famous for. Also announced last year was a new top-of-the range Defender, the SE.
The SE is immediately recognisable by its 'Brunel' gunmetal-coloured radiator grille and headlamp surround. The SE also has clear front indicator lenses, side runners, leather-covered gear knob and steering wheel, heated seats with part leather upholstery and a heated windscreen.
For 2004, Defender E and S specifications receive a new centre console tray between the front seats and all models now have black interior door trims. On all S and SE vehicles, wheelarches are now body coloured.
Defenders sold in Europe are equipped with the acclaimed 2.5-litre Td5 direct injection, five-cylinder diesel engine. This smooth and powerful engine produces 90 kW (122 bhp) and 300 Nm (221 lb/ft) of torque giving Defender supreme performance, both on and off-road.
Defender models sold outside Europe have the option of being fitted with the 2.5-litre 300 Tdi engine. This robust and dependable four-cylinder diesel engine produces 81 kW (110 bhp). With its simple construction this unit is an ideal choice for developing markets, where ease of maintenance in remote areas is of maximum importance.
The Defender is often described as the 'hero' of the Land Rover range and it is easy to see why. With its simple construction and robust chassis, the Defender can be converted or adapted to a variety of roles. Defenders can be produced as fire tenders, or with ambulance bodies, or be fitted with protective bodywork for peace-keeping duties around the world.
With a choice of three wheelbase lengths - 90, 110 and 130 - the Defender offers customers a host of body-styles and equipment options. The 90 and 110 are available in soft top, pick-up, hard top and station wagon versions. The 110 is also available as a crew cab. This latest derivative to join the Defender range enables customers to transport up to six people and has a pick-up body with a load capacity of up to 1080Kg.
The 130 version is also available with a range of factory produced conversions and specialist bodywork. Produced in-house by Land Rover's Special Vehicles division, the 130 can be fitted with a selection of bodywork such as a tipper, a crew cab with high-capacity pick-up body, dropside body, or with a selection of box bodies.Published 19 September 2003