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Land Rover’s new 297kW Defender 90 in Australia this year

Small and mighty, the Land Rover 90 SWB will hit Australian shores soon, packing a lot of grunt and features.

LAND ROVER will introduce its shorter Defender 90 in next-generation guise later this year as the little brother to the 110.

Arriving in October in P400 First Edition trim, it will be joined in December by the full suite of 90 variants. Pricing has not been announced but given the longer 110 P400 Launch Edition’s $102,500 plus on-roads cost, the 90 will certainly be priced under six-figures before government charges.

The Launch Edition will be available in only Pangea Green paint with a Fuji White roof, fitted with 18-inch alloys and a raft of gear (particularly if you’re upgrading from the first-gen Defender) such as a four-wheel drive system with hill start assist, hill decent control, heated electrically adjustable seats, keyless start, a 10.0-inch infotainment system with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electronic air suspension underneath and a full-size spare on the back…just like the old one.

Australia's Land Rover Defender 90 front

Under the bonnet for P400 variants is the most powerful petrol engine available: a 3.0-litre straight-six twin-scroll turbo engine developing 297kW and 550Nm via an eight-speed auto to all four wheels. It can shuttle the little six-seater along to 100km/h from a standing start in just 6.0 seconds.

Only 100 Launch Edition units will be available, and you’ll likely need to be quick to get one. Though not on sale yet (the 110 launches in August), JLR Australia says that over 50 per cent of its web traffic has been for the new Land Rover since it was unveiled at the Geneva motor show in September last year, and internationally over 1.2 million users have configured their own vehicle.

JLR Australia managing director Mark Cameron said that the 90 will have broad appeal to Australians.

“The compact, short wheelbase Defender 90 is the perfect vehicle for Australian conditions and joins the 110 as the most capable and durable family of SUVs in the world. We are delighted with the interest shown in the 110, and have a high level of confidence that the new Defender 90 will prove just as popular.”

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae