These Are Cool, Surprising, Almost Strange and Bizarre Facts About The New Land Rover Defender

I am in love with the new Land Rover Defender. But at first, I was not. I was disappointed with its move towards an unibody chassis, and I have resented all the "soft-touches" Land Rover prepped for it. But I have changed my mind.

True, it is a mommy automobile, and a kids-to-school mover, but it is the best mommy automobile and kids transportation device I have ever seen. It’s tough, robust, well-engineered, rugged, and seriously capable. Plus, Land Rover offers it with 170 accessories, like roof racks, tow hitches, steel wheels, a rinse system, an armrest cooler, and a front bench-style seat. Find me another car that offers all of that. There’s no way you can. But!

There is a big "but" here. The 2020 Land Rover Defender is seriously expensive. It starts at $50,925 (plus destination charges) in the U.S. That’s huge. That is the price of the base BMW X4 xDrive30i. Take a deep dive in the configurator and you can spec it out at more than 100 grand. That is absurd.

In 2012, the Land Rover Defender started at $22,000 in Australia. Then again, the only thing that’s left from the old Defender on the new one is the name. Nothing else. This is a wholly new car. I only hope that Land Rover invested heavily in quality control. If it manages to ace reliability and dependability surveys with the new Defender, I’d say that the price may even be justified.

Here are several cool quirks and features that set this Defender apart from any other car in the world.

Exposed Magnesium Inside the Cabin

2020 Land Rover Defender Interior
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The Land Rover Defender monocoque construction seemingly became the stiffest body structure ever produced. In real life, it means that the Defender will not flex as much as other cars/SUVs/whatever when exposed to some off-road challenges. Now, look at this picture Land Rover released.

2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features Exterior
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With a three-times-stiffer chassis compared to the closest competitor, the Land Rover Defender will not flex as much even though almost all the load sits on two wheels. Other cars or SUVs would flex more. In the simplest of terms, this means that the Defender is less likely to develop creaks in the cabin. More importantly, it is stiffer, safer, more precise, more comfortable, and just a better car.

One of the features that make all of this possible is the addition of the magnesium supporting beam that spans across the dashboard.

Covered with leather and insulation material, this supporting beam acts as an excellent passenger safety handle for when you do a lot of off-roading. And you may as well do that because everything says that the 2020 Land Rover Defender is probably the most capable production unibody off-road SUV... in the world.

You Can Personalize The Illuminated Tread Plate On Your Land Rover Defender

The 10 Coolest Accessories Available For the 2020 Land Rover Defender
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Land Rover actually offered to print out anything you like on the illuminated tread plate on the door sill. And to show the possibilities, it printed out a generic name - John Smith. Why not John Doe? It may be too "people-y".

Now, I explored the net briefly for the real John Smith. While I am not 100 percent sure, this name might be a reference to an English explorer from the 1500s. This is what Wikipedia has to say about this John Smith Englishman dude:

"John Smith was an English soldier, explorer, colonial governor, Admiral of New England, and author. He played an important role in the establishment of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America in the early 17th century."

So, Land Rover, there you have, you can link the Defender with that John Smith instead of a generic John Smith.

That is beside the point, tough. The point is that I have so many ideas of what to put on the door tread plate instead of your name. Try with something cheesy like:

"Nice Underwear!"
"I Like It Dirty!"
"I am a Personalized Tread Plate!"
"Shut The Front Door!"
"Leave Your Ego Outside!" - This probably won’t work, because we live in a narcissistic world where this tread plate will likely have your name on it. So sad! Or what about the phone number of your mechanic. Could be fitting. At least consider putting the 007 numbering, as this Land Rover will debut in the next movie about the world’s best spy.

Self-Healing Wrap for the Land Rover Defender

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Self-Healing wrap isn’t anything new, but it is somewhat revolutionary. This thin layer of film protects your Defender from tiny scratches, rock chips, or other surface damage.

The protective film is a neat piece of technology that after the distortion reverts to its previous state in a matter of seconds.

You’ll have to apply heat, tough. Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained, nicely explained the work behind the new protective, self-healing films.

"Self-healing film consists of three different layers. The first layer is an adhesive so the film sticks to the car, the second is thick polyurethane to mitigate damage from outside forces, and the third is a clear coat that protects the polyurethane from discoloring."

I find the installation of the satin protective film one of the crucial features of the new Defender. After all, this car could see a lot of off-road beating. Having a protective film makes it easy to repair scratches from mud, sand, branches, and anything else you may encounter off-roading.

Although factory-installed, you can change the matte wrap later on without any problems - just as you would do if some aftermarket specialists wrapped the car.

170 Accessories Are Available For The Land Rover Defender

The 10 Coolest Accessories Available For the 2020 Land Rover Defender
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Land Rover’s technicians took a unique approach toward the creation of the ultimate adventure vehicle. If you have enough money and zest, you can make the Defender as individual as you like. Some of the available 170 different accessories include the side steps, a rinse system with a 1.7-gallon reservoir for water, or even a Remote Control Electric Winch. Dive deep beneath the surface of the sea of options available and the Land Rover even offers some truly crazy outdoors-y stuff for the Defender.

You can have "a hybrid jacket, which effortlessly transforms into a gilet using Quickburst zip technology, to a belt with a tensile strength of over 13,000 pounds (6,000 kilograms)." That is some next-level *hit there, really. The most astounding fact, in my opinion, is the roof that can support up to 300 kilograms. It’s perfect for setting up a tent - something you should try, by the way.

The New Land Rover Defender 90 Is Shorter Than a Hatchback, But Can Sit Six

2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features Exterior
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The Land Rover Defender 90 is not a big car. It is as short as a compact hatchback but still has such a smart packaging inside that it can sit six.

Optionally and in addition to the standard three-seat rear bench and the two front seats, the Land Rover Defender 90 can have a jump seat. It is a solution that effectively introduces a front bench to the Defender 90.

The thing is that the position of the seat is a bit higher compared to the left and right front seat. The upper part of it can serve as an armrest and a cupholder as well. Just fold it down. It is an example of smart packaging really, but don’t think that this seat would ever provide a lot of comfort for longer journeys. Nevertheless, I believe that it is an excellent addition, and every Defender 90 buyer should opt for it. Fyi, that’s a $900 option.

What Does The IP67 Electrical Rating Mean?

2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features Exterior
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I am sure you read once or twice that the new Land Rover Defender has an IP67 electrical rating. That means that the electronics and all electrical connections can withstand water immersion. As explained, all the electrical systems can be submerged for an hour underwater without any damage to them whatsoever.

This is easily one of the most crucial features of the off-road worthy Defender that has 85 ECUs and who knows how many kilometers of wiring in itself. Thanks to IP67 water immersion standards, the Defender can also wade through 900 millimeters of water.

The New Land Rover Defender Can Go Deeper Than 900 millimeters Underwater, But You Really Should Not

2020 Land Rover Defender Exterior
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Let me tell you one more cool fact about the Defender’s capabilities of fording through deep water. It could do even more than 900 millimeters, but Land Rover engineers think that it would start to float if the driver tried to go any deeper. That’s something you don’t want to happen. If it happens, however, there’s a solution. You could open the doors, let some water in and increase the weight of the car until you get traction. Sure, water would do wrong to the carpets, and everything else, but the mechanics and electric stuff will remain undamaged. This is as Defender-y as it gets.

Steel Wheels On The Land Rover Defender

2020 Land Rover Defender Exterior
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I know that alloy wheels are the best thing after Google, but please consider speccing out your full-fledged Land Rover Defender with the available steel wheels.

In a somewhat surprising move, Land Rover actually revealed the new Defender with the 18-inch, white-colored steel wheels. It is a throwback to the original, and if you ask me it is one of the best details of the new car.

Made from pressed steel, the wheels do give a certain retro flair to an otherwise fairly modern-looking vehicle. I like it a lot. Apart from these wheels, you can choose from 11 other aluminum wheel designs with sizes ranging from 18 inches to 22 inches. Land Rover even created differently-sized rear covers in the back so you can fit any wheel size in there. Neat.

The Land Rover Defender Is Not Aerodynamically Efficient

2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features Exterior
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The 2020 Land Rover Defender 100 is not particularly aerodynamically efficient. In fact, with its drag coefficient value of 0.38 Cd, it is one of the least aerodynamically-efficient new cars.

However, compared to the old one, which had an aerodynamic efficiency of a brick (0.62 Cd), the new Defender feels like a drop of water falling from the heavens into a muddy puddle.

I found out that the Defender’s fight against air grows even fiercer for some of the other versions - the Defender 110 D200 and D240 have a drag coefficient of 0.39 Cd, while the P400 and Defender 90 have a drag coefficient of 0.40 Cd.

Further Reading

2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features Exterior
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The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks

Land Rover Is Working on a Defender SVR and Here's the Proof
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Land Rover Defender SVR.

2007 Land Rover Defender
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Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Defender.

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