The original British four-wheel drive vehicle was developed in the 1980s and launched in the 1990s as a part of the original Land Rover series. The Land Rover Defender was a key part in the success of Land Rover in the middle years. The Land Rover Defender can traverse the wilds in Australia and Africa, serve as a fire truck and a tractor and also serve as a luxury vehicle. The Land Rover Defender was quality enough to land a spot in the James Bond film, Spectre in a snow-covered road chase.
The Land Rover Defender did not immediately get the name ‘Defender’ but originally came in as the Land Rover Defender 90 and Defender 110. According to Jon Branch They used the Range Rover V8 engine and transmission which were fitted on the Series III Stage One V8, complete with a lockable central differential giving the vehicle permanent four wheel drive, and featuring high and low range gears for on and off-road use. With slight improvements along the way, after a couple of years in 1991 the Land Rover Defender was introduced. With interest in military, fire, and emergency services, Land Rover thought that the term ‘Defender’ was appropriate.
Land Rover wanted to cater more toward an industrial use when they noticed that the after-market conversion shops were creating long wheelbase at 127” to create more of a use of load equipment, crew, or carrying capacity for owners. Land Rover were to market the Defender as the Defender 127 and later as the Defender 130. There were a number of changes for the 1996 model year, namely a brand-new turbo diesel engine that was nicknamed the 300tdi. A roll cage was added, in addition to alloy wheels according to Nat Bernam. The advancement of the Land Rover Defender started quickly evolving as technology advanced in the early 2000s. New instrumentation and important upgrades to the chassis, along with better illumination for instrument packages along with a more comfortable ride for the owner. From 2002-2006 there were numerous upgrades to the Land Rover Defender, including; addition of the ABS brakes, leather seats, electric windows, heated seats, and replacing the problem producing two-piece rear door with one solid door.
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