The Land Rover Defender L316 [the first-generation defender] is one of the most impressive off-road SUVs to have ever existed. And hardly will you come across anyone off-road vehicle user who will claim otherwise.
Since its introduction in 1984, the car has served many sorts of people under many sorts of tough condition. But despite how cool the L316 is, its manufacturer has proven that the L316 is far from being the most impressive form the Defender can come in; with the new L663 [the second generation defender], there is now so much more possible with a Defender.
The L663 isn’t just the next generation, it’s a car that was re-imagined, and built with excellence in all aspects, without compromise. It not only delivers as excellent as the L316, it further goes far and beyond. In fact, as of December 2020, the car carries the tag of the strongest and toughest car Land Rover has ever built.
Also, I should mention that while all variants of the L663 will perform excellently under all off-road conditions, it’s possible to further customize your Defender, in ways that will make it even a lot more impressive for the kinds of condition you’ll be using it. The L663 offers a level of customization you won’t find in many other off-road SUVs.
This content isn’t just meant to give a summary of the L633. As the title implies, it’s actually my intention to provide a review; let’s get into that.
The Land Rover Defender is excellent in all aspects, and when it comes to the aspect of performance, it’s impressive performance is made possible by the combination of — its engines, better regular performance technologies, and some special performance technologies.
Starting our elaboration with the aspect of engine, the L663 may come with any of some 5 possible engines, two of which are diesel engines, while the other three are petrol engines. The first diesel engine [the D240 AWD Automatic], is an ingenium 2.0L inline 4 cylinder engine. This machine can provide a top speed of 188 km/h and can further accelerate from 0 — 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds. I should also add that the engine is a turbocharged one.
The second diesel engine [the D300 AWD Automatic] is a bigger engine for those who want a more powerful diesel engine. This engine is also an ingenium engine. But unlike the D240 which is a 2.0L machine, the D300 is a 3.0L machine. Also, unlike the D240 which is an inline 4 powerhouse, the D300 is an inline 6 engine. And one of the results of these more impressive specs is that the D300 can fetch you a maximum speed of 199 km/h, while also being able to go from 0 — 100 km/h in a reduced 7.0 seconds. Furthermore, just like the D240, the D300 is turbocharged.
While the diesel engines are what will be ideal for the people who intend testing the limits of the L663 [e.g. With things like — cruising, long journeys, motorway, off-roading, and towing.], it’s also possible to have a petrol engine, for those who’re more interested in powerful engines that can provide more directing and engaging driving experiences. And as regards the first petrol powerhouse available [the P300 AWD Automatic], this engine is an “ingenium 2.0L inline 4” machine. It can provide a top speed of 191 km/h, while also being able to go from 0 — 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. However, unlike the first two engines above, the P300 is not turbocharged.
The second petrol powerhouse available [the P400e AWD Automatic] is also an “ingenium 2.0L inline 4” engine. The engine can take you from 0 — 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, and can go as fast as 191 km/h; but that’s not all. Another interesting thing about this car is that it belongs to the turbocharged PHEV class, which means there is further room for a 15,397 Wh battery.
While the P400e should be enough for most power users, there is further a more powerful engine for those who demand more power. This powerhouse in question, which is known as the P400 AWD Automatic, is an “ingenium 3.0L inline 6” engine. It can deliver a top speed of 199 km/h and can go from 0 — 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. The P400 is also turbocharged and further belongs to the MHEV family.
As hinted above, the fact that the Defender L663 comes with better regular performance technologies is also one of the secrets behinds its excellence. For instance, the SUV, which is also an all-wheel-drive vehicle, comes with a much better 8-speed automatic transmission. Also, the introduction of a thing like the electronic air suspension, to compliment the coil sprung suspension system of the vehicle, is a thing that contributes to the outstanding performance of the L663.
To further give ideas about how impressive the L663 is, in some other aspects —
The L663 will comfortably winch a load of as much as 4,536 kg, at distance up to 45 metres. And the car comes with a remote control to winch things.
The second-generation Defender can tow things as heavy as 3,500 kg. And with an optional Advanced Tow Assist, towing things can be even much easier.
This vehicle scores well when it comes to carrying things. For static loads, you can put things as heavy as 300 kg on the car, and for dynamic loads, you can things as heavy as 168 kg on the SUV.
If you have to pass through a body of water, the Defender is ready to get you past it, even at heights at up to 900 mm. And when doing this, the vehicle will do it smoothly, ensuring you never have to experience the negative effects of wading.
It should also be added that the car comes with sensors which can help alert you, when the wading depth is getting close to the 900 mm wading depth limit.
There are a number of special technologies you’ll find in the L663 but won’t find in many other off-road vehicles. And one of these technologies is the All-terrain Progress Control [ATPC]. This tech makes it possible to move at a steady speed on any type of terrain.
Imagine descending from a steep hill at a constant speed, without having to continuously control the vehicle to achieve the constant speed, well, that’s what the ATPC is like.
However, note that this technology only works at speeds between 2 km/h and 30 km/h.
The availability of a technology like the ATPC also means it’ll be much easier to move on very rough surfaces, since you can focus on the terrain ahead without having to bother about maintaining a right speed.
The first generation Defender is a really great vehicle. But towards its end date, the vehicle didn’t make as many sales as it could, due to its old design; the car looks like an SUV from the 1990s, and not everyone was okay with that.
And if you’re one of those people who avoided the car for this reason, I can assure that this won’t be a reason to also avoid the second generation Defender. The second-generation Defender features a nice exterior design and also has an amazing body strength. I should further add that you can have a say as regards how big you want the car to be.
But starting our elaboration with the car’s body strength, the L663 can withstand a lot of tough things with the help of its monocoque body architecture.
The L663 features a monocoque body design which gives it triple the torsional rigidity you can get from other body-on-frame SUVs. I should add that this monocoque body has a light weight, which further means not only is the L663 stronger, it is also more fuel-efficient.
As regards being able to choose how big your car will be, it’s possible to decide whether you want your car to feature 2 or 3 seating rows. The 2 seating row option is called the 90 body design, while the 3 seating row option is called the 110 body design.
Another aspect of the exterior where customization is possible is the aspect of the car’s roof. You have the option of choosing between — a fixed metal roof, a slide panoramic roof, and a folding fabric roof.
The slide panoramic roof makes it possible to get a feel of the outside world, but with some privacy. And as for the folding fabric roof, it gives the room to feel the outside environment even more, when there’s an even lesser need for privacy and protection from the outside world.
As regards the colour your L663, may come in, you’ll have the option of choosing from — fuji white solid paint, pangea green metallic paint, gondwana metallic paint, eiger grey metallic paint, tasman blue metallic paint, santorini black metallic paint, yulong white metallic paint, hakuba silver metallic paint, carpathian grey premium metallic paint, and silicon silver premium metallic paint.
You should further be aware that there’s also customization in the aspect of wheel, you can select among rims of 18 inches, 19 inches, 20 inches, and 22 inches.
The interior of the Land Rover L663 is also massively better than that of its predecessor. But the highlight of its interior is that — (i) it is more spacious, (i) it has a configurable seating, (iii) it features USB and 12v power sources per row, and (iv) it’s interior is made up of even more durable materials.
Giving details about the configurable seating, there are basically 5 configurations you can choose from, if you opt-in for a 90 body design. And these seating configurations in question are —
1. The 2 front seats configuration
This configuration features 2 seats, with the both of them in the front row. The remaining space in the car is designed to be used as cargo space.
2. The 2 front seats + 1 rear seat configuration
This configuration, as the name implies, features 2 seats in the front row and 1 seat in the rear row. The single seat in the rear row is on the right side. The remaining space is designed to be used as cargo space.
3. The 2 front seats + 2 rear seats configuration
This configuration features 2 seats in the front row and 2 other seats in the rear row. The back of the car and the centre of the rear row are used as cargo space.
4. The 2 front seats + 3 rear seats configuration
This configuration features 2 seats in the front row and 3 other seats in the rear row. The relatively small space available at the back is what gets used as cargo space.
5. The 3 front seats + 3 rear seats configuration
This configuration is similar to the “2 front seats + 3 rear seats configuration”. But unlike the “2 front seats + 3 rear seats configuration”, the centre of the front row is used as another seat.
As for L663s coming with the 110 body design, there are 6 seating configurations available. And these configuration in question are as follows —
1. The 2 front seats configuration
This seating configuration features only 2 seats, the 2 which are of course in the front row of the car. The remaining space in the car is used as cargo space.
2. The 2 front seats + 1 middle seat configuration
This configuration features 2 seats in the front row and 1 seat on the right side of the second row. The remaining space is used as cargo space.
3. The 2 front seats + 2 middle seats configuration
This configuration also features 2 seats in the front row. However, contrary to what you may have thought about the 2 seats in the second row, they aren’t on the two sides of the car. Rather, the two seats occupy the left side and centre of the car’s middle row.
4. The 2 front seats + 3 middle seats configuration
This seating configuration feature 2 seats in the front of the car and 3 seats in the second row. The remaining space is used as cargo space.
5. The 3 front seats + 3 middle seats configuration
This seating configuration features 3 seats in the front; the centre of the front row is equipped with an additional seat. The second row of the vehicle also features 3 seats. The remaining space is used as cargo space.
6. The 2 front seats + 3 middles seats + 2 rear seats configuration
This configuration features 2 seats in the front row, 3 seats in the middle row, and 2 seats in the third row. There is very little space left at the back, and this little space can be used as cargo space.
There are a lot of interesting technologies featured by the Defender L663. But to avoid boring you with too many details, I’ll only be talking about some of them [the most interesting ones].
1. The clear-sight interior rear-view mirror
The clear-sight interior rear-view mirror is one of the interesting technologies featured by the L663. Basically, this technology makes it possible to see the rear view in the rear mirror, even when the line of sight of the rear mirror is blocked.
This technology works with the help of an elevated camera which kicks into action when the rear view mirror has been obstructed from getting a view of the rear side.
2. The clear-sight ground-view system
There are times when you’ll like to see what’s on the floor directly below the front of your car. But unfortunately, this is impossible in regular cars. However, with the help of the clear-sight ground-view system featured by the L663, this is very possible.
3. The Meridian sound system
The presence of a sound system in cars is far from being a new thing. But what makes the L663’s sound system interesting is the type of sound system used in the car.
The car features a sound system produced by a UK company known as Meridian. This system is made up of 6 speakers and a 180 watts amplifier. The quality of sound produced by this system is so impressive that many people will be surprised to find a system as good as this in a vehicle like the L663.
But while the Meridian system mentioned above is enough to blow your mind, it’s possible to get an even more impressive version. This more impressive version features 10 speakers, 1 subwoofer, and a 400w amplifier. With this more impressive version, you’re guaranteed to be blown away.
But that’s still not the most impressive. You can further get a hyper impressive Meridian sound system featuring 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer and a 700 watts amplifier. This hyper impressive version literally delivers sounds with the same accuracy with which they were created in the studio.
4. The head-up display
I don’t know about you, but for me, I don’t really appreciate having to look at my dashboard to look at certain information. For instance, when driving, I usually wish I could see my driving speed without having to lower my line of sight too much. And if you’re also like this, let me inform you that the L663 has a head-up display.
This display is basically a display featured on the windscreen of your car, and this display can project important information like — driving speed, entertainment information, and so on.
The price of the Land Rover Defender L663 is not fixed. The price will depend on the features your build of the car has and where you are buying from. But you can expect to spend between N24 million and N41 million, if you buy from a big car dealer in Nigeria.
It is worthwhile knowing that not all builds of the Defender L663 will come with all the features you hear about the vehicle. The car has the following sub-models —
- the Standard sub-model — often referred to as just “Defender”;
- the X-Dynamic sub-model;
- the First Edition sub-model; and
- the X sub-model.
Each sub-model has a set of features its builds can have. It is only the builds of the X sub-model that may have all the features you hear about the Defender L663.
There are also some other sub-models, but as of the time of writing this content, they don’t seem to be available in Africa. These other sub-models in question are —
- the S sub-model;
- the SE sub-model; and
- the HSE sub-model.