Of Course The Next Land Rover Defender Will Be Electrified
The new Defender is also coming to the U.S., too!by Mark, on
People might act surprised when automakers release a new fully electric vehicle or a hybrid version of an old favorite. Ford, for example, says a hybrid version of the F-150 is coming. There’s even talk of a hybrid Jeep Wrangler in the next few years. As such, it should come to nobody’s surprise that the next-generation Land Rover Defender will also have an electrified drivetrain. What exactly that entails, not even Land Rover has the specifics nailed down. Add to that Land Rover’s official statement confirming every one of its models will have an electrified version by 2020. So yeah, the next Defender will be electric in some way.
It would be a safe bet Land Rover will use a similar hybrid drivetrain found in the recently revealed Range Rover P400e and Range Rover Sport P400e. The system consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with an 85-kW electric motor sandwiched between. A 13.1-kWh lithium-ion battery supplies the power, while regenerative braking and engine power recharge the battery when in motion. When parked, a P400e’s battery is plugged in for charging. Impressively, both P400e versions have an all-electric range of 31 miles.
As for the new Defender, it’s reported to abandon the traditional body-on-frame design for Land Rover’s modern, aluminum-intensive unibody architecture. The Defender is expected to keep its tradition of a two-door soft-top and a four-door hard-top version. We’re just hoping it retains the boxy shape that’s made it an icon. Land Rover is expected to debut the Defender sometime in 2018 with production versions hitting dealerships worldwide in 2019.
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Why It Matters
Here’s the thing: EV and hybrid powertrains are here to stay
Here’s the thing: EV and hybrid powertrains are here to stay. We’re not getting rid of them, and they will soon be found in virtually every vehicle type and category. Thankfully, with their proliferation, the tree-hugging and granola-eating stigma surrounding them will fade. In many respects, that’s already well underway. As a result, having a hybrid Land Rover Defender or Ford F-150 or Jeep Wrangler won’t be some assault to cultural norms. It’ll just be the new normal.
Of course, having a hybrid Defender brings several really positive aspects. First, the SUV won’t suck as much fuel and will cost less at the pump. Second, the low-end torque provided by the electric motors is perfect for off-roading. Third, having the battery packs located low in the SUV should help its on-road handling, too. It won’t be as top heavy or have the propensity to roll over during a crash.
The hybrid powertrain will add cost, though nobody will be buying a Land Rover because it’s economical
Naturally, there are downsides, too. The hybrid powertrain will add cost, though nobody will be buying a Land Rover because it’s economical. It also adds complexity. Though all modern vehicles are far trickier to repair under a shade tree, fixing a hybrid system should be left to the professionals. Then again, a full EV drivetrain has very few moving parts, are easily made watertight, and should have very little chance of “breaking down” without warning. That would certainly be a welcomed feature for those overlanding through the African plains or Amazonian jungles.
Read our full review on the current Land Rover Defender.
Read our full article on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover P400e.
Read our full article on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e.
Source: Motor Authority