Car News

2016 Land Rover Defender to be 2WD only

In a move that’s sure to upset traditionalists, the 2016 Land Rover Defender will be 2WD only and a technological tour-de-force.

[ UPDATED 12:01 APRIL 1st – Yes, this was an April Fools post.  Land Rover have not in fact released any such specification about 2WD Defenders ]

THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER as we know it will cease production at the end of this year to make way for an all-new model, and the British marque has already begun trotting out a series of special editions to farewell one of the few vehicles that can truly be termed iconic.

Details of the replacement vehicle are few and far between, but a source within Land Rover has revealed today details of the brand’s next-generation off-road system, which it’s calling All Terrain Propulsion. The system, according to our source is a collection of both brand new technologies and developments of existing systems that, according to a source within Land Rover “will see the Defender become the most capable and technologically advanced four-wheel drive on the planet”.

For instance, the studded tyres we first saw on the DC100 (pictured) will go into production, and there will be computer-controlled central tyre inflation using pressurised air stored in the chassis rails that can vary the tyre pressure by 10psi within half a second – this is VTS, or the Variable Tyre System. If necessary, Practical Motoring has learned, a boost mode can be employed to allow the tyres to be inflated from 5 to 50psi in just one second which gives the vehicle the ability to hop tyres up and over obstacles.

Each front wheel will be individually driven by electric motors, combined with long travel (450mm) independent suspension controlled using a special cross-linked system similar to what was first seen on the Discovery3, except this time it’s computer-controlled based on forward terrain sensing as seen in the Discovery concept last year. Land Rover calls this Terrain Adaptive Suspension (TAS) and claims it can look as far ahead as three metres.

But the headline grabber is the news that the all-new Defender won’t be four-wheel drive – our source within the engineering team claims there’s no need as the front wheels will provide sufficient traction with the combination of instantly ATP,  VTS and TAS. Losing the rear drive also makes the vehicle lighter, and allows use of special long-travel independent suspension (700mm) with rear-steer. In effect, the rear wheels and suspension are there to make sure the front wheels are in maximum contact with the ground at all times. 

All four wheels can be individually braked for a skid-steer effect, and there’s no need for locking differentials as each electric motor delivers precisely the required amount of torque to the two driven wheels at all times. There is also no need for low range on the new Defender thanks to the electric drive.

This should make the Defender simpler and easier to drive, which we’re told was a key design objective given many owners have complained the current vehicle is too complex to operate. “All Defender drivers need to do now is point the vehicle at the obstacle and it will literally do the rest,” Practical Motoring was told.

 

[ UPDATED 12:01 APRIL 1st – Yes, this was an April Fools post.  Land Rover have not in fact released any such specification about 2WD Defenders ]


Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
trackback

[…] 2016 Land Rover Defender to be 2WD only – In a move that’s sure to upset traditionalists, the 2016 Land Rover Defender will be 2WD … be computer-controlled central tyre inflation using pressurised air stored in the chassis rails that can vary the tyre pressure by 10psi within half a second … […]

Hans Offmibheir

Hans Offmibheir