Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders

The new Defender gets into a tug of war against two old Defenders; one of them converted to an EV

Land Rover introduced the new Defender two years ago around this time. While it seemed rugged and strong on paper and turned out to be a rather sweet package, a lot of purists didn’t find the old-school charm in it anymore, which wasn’t wrong. But, how does it compare to its predecessors in terms of pure strength? Mat Watson from Carwow decided to find the answer by pitting it against two yesteryear Land Rover Defenders in a tug of war. While one of them featured a diesel mill, the other was an electrified version. Which SUV do you think has the edge?

New Defender vs Electric Defender

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders
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The new Defender comes with a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo engine that makes 250 HP and 420 lb-ft of twist. There is a ton of other off-road equipment
The new Land Rover Defender is powered by a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo engine that makes 250 horses and 420 pound-feet of twist.

Power is routed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It comes with low-range and central and rear locking differentials. It weighs 4,912 pounds.

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders
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The Defender EV comes with a single motor that makes 450 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque. It only has one off-road mode

It first faced an old Defender with an electric powertrain.

It borrows a centrally-mounted electric motor from the Tesla Model S 100D and is paired to a torque-sensing limited-slip differential. The power output is rated at 450 horses and 332 pound-feet of torque.

It features a 60 kWh battery pack under the hood and a 40 kWh battery pack at the rear. This is a total of 100 kWh and it also comes from the Tesla. It weighs 4,409 pounds, which makes it over 500 pounds lighter than the new Defender. It doesn’t have a low range, but comes with an off-road mode. It also has better off-road tires.

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders
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The first tug of war was between the new Defender and the EV. The former won quite comfortably, thanks to all the off-road wizardry

The new Defender was in Grass mode with low range whereas the electric Defender was slot in off-road mode. The old Defender couldn’t do much when the war began and it lost to the modern Defender without a fight. That’s how well the mechanicals and technology work together on the new SUV.

New Defender vs Defender Spectre Edition

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders
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The Defender diesel ‘Spectre Edition’ is powered by a diesel engine that makes the same outputs as the EV

Next up, it faced a Defender Spectre Edition.

This one is powered by a diesel engine that makes the same power output as the electric Defender – 450 horses and 332 pound-feet of torque.

Power is routed to all the wheels but this doesn’t even come with the one off-road mode that the EV did. However, it holds one big advantage over the modern Defender – It weighs 5,732 pounds; over 800 pounds heavier than the old Defender! This matters in a tug of war.

Tug Of War: New Land Rover Defender vs Two Old Defenders
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Swipe up to watch this fun video and to share your thoughts with us in the comments section

The new Defender went in with the same settings as before, but it was the exact opposite result. The old Defender manhandled the new one and pulled it away without any remorse. Well, life came a full circle for the new Defender within a few minutes.

Watch this fun video below and share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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