RE: 'Hard Top' returns to Land Rover Defender

RE: 'Hard Top' returns to Land Rover Defender

Author
Discussion

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
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drpep said:
Reading a bit more, it does seem that modern independent suspension (with sufficient travel) can overcome the traction advantages typical of solid-axle setups. It seems rock-crawling is the only place that isn't true...
Nope, even with rock crawling... It still comes down to sufficient suspension travel.

...but given rock crawling isn't done in standard vehicles, it's a bit of a moot point.

M

300bhp/ton

38,603 posts

145 months

Tuesday 30th June
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GT03ROB said:
Suddenly seems to look like the old defender.
Only if you squint or look at something completely different.

drpep

1,405 posts

123 months

Tuesday 30th June
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AngryPartsBloke said:
drpep said:
The reality is, it's not as capable an off-roader,
Have you got any objective evidence for that?
Honestly, no I don't. Just going on general merits and drawbacks of their relative suspension setups. I'm sure the defender does just fine for most situations, which is probably why they went with an independent setup rather than solid axles. As above, this was an interesting read on IFS vs Solid:

https://www.theengineblock.com/off-road-suspension...

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
GT03ROB said:
Suddenly seems to look like the old defender.
Only if you squint or look at something completely different.
<YAWN>

M

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
drpep said:
AngryPartsBloke said:
drpep said:
The reality is, it's not as capable an off-roader,
Have you got any objective evidence for that?
Honestly, no I don't. Just going on general merits and drawbacks of their relative suspension setups. I'm sure the defender does just fine for most situations, which is probably why they went with an independent setup rather than solid axles. As above, this was an interesting read on IFS vs Solid:

https://www.theengineblock.com/off-road-suspension...
Ahhh... Armchair expert...

M

300bhp/ton

38,603 posts

145 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
Am I the only one not really getting the point of this one?



Is the rear side window just blocked over? ie making it more dark inside and less visibility out. But still retains the middle doors and glass in them?


Surely the "hard top" model of old was simply because it was cheaper than the same panel with a window in. And there has been a big market since the 1950's installing glass windows into the sides of the hard top panels.

The so called 90 (Pretender 100") at least looks a bit more van like. But it still seems to be trendy marketing lead for rich folk to have as a toy, rather than as a practical workhorse.

Mr.Jimbo

1,815 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
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camel_landy said:
Actually, you might be surprised at this statement but an auto is much better for a skilled driver... It gives you far more control for the very fiddly stuff, where you're having to move very slowly (e.g. Rock crawling). You can balance everything on the throttle without the danger of burning out a clutch.

Manuals are great for teaching off-road skills though. It makes the student think about gear selection, which is important for understanding the relationship between traction, torque & momentum. Once that understanding is there, it's then a case of learning how to control an auto (holding in gear for descents, etc...) and then it'll help you get even further.

Sure, there are going to be certain edge cases which I'm sure 'someone' will want to split hairs over but as someone with significant experience with both, I'd be selecting auto.

M
Good point, I actually meant manual as in manual lockers, brake application etc, but you're right - I can see taking the gearbox out of the equation being very useful for a lot of people. I bet if you're rock crawling in a manual you develop one hell of a clutch leg!

I've only been off roading in my Discovery 5s (and an Evoque which was surprisingly good), and nothing serious, but its incredible how it's just point and click, the car does everything for you, a lot of time I don't bother using the terrain response as it's just not required, but as I say, I'm not wading up to the window line and going through rutted tracks, just a bit of recreational playing about when I'm biking or skiing.

ate one too

2,047 posts

101 months

Tuesday 30th June
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Hairymonster said:
I like that stripped-out model in the last photo - Ariel Nomad rival.
I thought that was the U.S. Army version .... wink

drpep

1,405 posts

123 months

Tuesday 30th June
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camel_landy said:
Ahhh... Armchair expert...

M
Hardly an expert, but informed nonetheless.

Hitch

5,831 posts

149 months

Tuesday 30th June
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I love that people are still frothing about this not being exactly like the original. I think it's a great effort; this particular model is no different in concept to the commercial Discovery offering and I know a couple of owners who love those.

What I'm not clear on is why the last of the old style Defender Utility 110s had both rear seats and this back panel yet qualified for commercial status. Is a change in regulations to blame for that not being possible?

ballans

91 posts

60 months

Tuesday 30th June
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Really like this. They appear much better in basic/commercial form.
We do actually have a use for an off-roader so once Mrs B’s freelander dies (it’s showing no signs of doing so though) this will be high on the shopping list.
They have a 110 outside the local dealer. Only saw it from the other side of a dual carriageway but it looked massive! Was silver so might be a colour thing.

FA57REN

369 posts

10 months

Tuesday 30th June
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They're always careful to pose it with a Series 1 instead of the old Defender...

Sixpackpert

4,072 posts

169 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
Am I the only one not really getting the point of this one?



Is the rear side window just blocked over? ie making it more dark inside and less visibility out. But still retains the middle doors and glass in them?


Surely the "hard top" model of old was simply because it was cheaper than the same panel with a window in. And there has been a big market since the 1950's installing glass windows into the sides of the hard top panels.

The so called 90 (Pretender 100") at least looks a bit more van like. But it still seems to be trendy marketing lead for rich folk to have as a toy, rather than as a practical workhorse.
They've done the same as they do with the Discovery 4 and 5 commercials. The glass windows have plastic covers over them on the inside to comply with making it a commercial. Saves money on re-tooling the bodyshell.

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
Am I the only one not really getting the point of this one?
Probably...

300bhp/ton said:
Is the rear side window just blocked over? ie making it more dark inside and less visibility out. But still retains the middle doors and glass in them?
Errr... That's the way LR have done commercial derivatives for a while.

300bhp/ton said:
Surely the "hard top" model of old was simply because it was cheaper than the same panel with a window in. And there has been a big market since the 1950's installing glass windows into the sides of the hard top panels.
That's your interpretation... You've been told before; this isn't your product, it's Land Rover's. That can do with and call it what they like.

300bhp/ton said:
The so called 90 (Pretender 100") at least looks a bit more van like. But it still seems to be trendy marketing lead for rich folk to have as a toy, rather than as a practical workhorse.
ZZZZZzzzzz....

M

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
Hitch said:
I love that one person is still frothing about this not being exactly like the original.
FTFY... wink

M

sisu

653 posts

128 months

Tuesday 30th June
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LaurasOtherHalf said:
Can it really get a euro-pallet between the rear wheel arches in the load bay?

Can you not get it with rear seats?

If it can't replace my Amarok (which I love as a work horse/family bus/tax break) I won't be considering it.
Could or should?
If you look at the body shell of the cutaway version there is no solid floor. So you are sticking a wooden europallet on a folded seat instead of a loadliner in a Van or a Pickup that you can hose out.
Which is what every Barry tells you about Land Rovers.
You can fit a Europallet into the back of an Audi A6 Avant too, but is it the best use for it? It is why they invented trailers.


300bhp/ton

38,603 posts

145 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
AngryPartsBloke said:
drpep said:
The reality is, it's not as capable an off-roader,
Have you got any objective evidence for that?
Physics.

And lots of YouTube videos as evidence.


However, it isn't fair to say it isn't capable off road. It is. However the platform isn't natively capable by basic design. It gains its capability by being extremely enhanced by complex and expensive technology.

  • Overall the fully independent setup lacks articulation and suspension flex. Which means ultimately the vehicle is less stable on uneven terrain and will be lifting and waving wheels in the air. At the extreme end of the scale, this means it is more likely to tip over or roll off road.
  • Because it lifts wheels in the air so readily, it has to rely on traction control systems and a rear diff lock in order to keep the wheels turning. It does this very well. But without these systems it would get stuck easily known as being cross axled.
  • Fully independent suspension gives good static ground clearance, as you don't have the diff hanging low on the vehicle. But the clearance is now dynamic and changes as the suspension is compressed. There are pros and cons here, but it does make for an extra consideration when off road.
  • The vehicles themselves a big and heavy and with long wheelbases. This makes them less nimble off road and more prone to damage.
  • The rounded design makes it hard to see the "corners" of the vehicle off road. And large plastic bumpers and big exposed sills make the entire vehicle highly vulnerable to damage off road.
  • In standard ride height modes the vehicle (esp 110 Pretender) has a super longer wheelbase and relatively small tyres. This gives poor breakover angles. Raising the vehicle up on the air suspension improves this, but, and as you can see by many of the videos on YouTube, this makes the air springs much stiffer and the vehicles have a weird bobbing and bouncing motion off road.

To summarise. The new Pretender is capable off road, in the same way the Discovery 3 is (they use very similar technology & techniques to achieve the results).

But the vehicle has some short comings off road when directly compared either its predecessor or alternative contemporaries. If you need an analogy, think of the current BMW M5. A vehicle that, through technology has been forced to be capable on a racetrack. However if you were starting with a blank sheet of paper and wanting to build a track focused vehicle, you simply wouldn't design an M5 for the task. You'd be looking at something more akin to an Elise or Caterham. The old Defender and even the Wrangler are the Caterhams and Lotus' of the 4x4 world. This new model simply isn't and is a different kind of vehicle.

It's a vehicle I actually like. Although I do feel it wears the wrong name. It is a very good Discovery, but a very poor Defender. A compromise would maybe have been Defender Sport, but alas the top brass at JLR are only looking for £ & $ signs and seemed happy to affectively rape the name and image of their former model, in the hopes for some quick Bucks at launch time. Many car makers have done similar in the past, just look at the 1980s Dodge Charger for instance. A car that for its intended market, probably wasn't all that bad. But should never have been given the namesake. The Pretender probably isn't as bad, but only time will tell how history views it in the long run.

camel_landy

3,057 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
sisu said:
If you look at the body shell of the cutaway version there is no solid floor. So you are sticking a wooden europallet on a folded seat instead of a loadliner in a Van or a Pickup that you can hose out.
I'd suggest LR have done the same as with previous commercials and covered the void with a fairly substantial board, with a non-slip coating and tie-down points.

M

Sixpackpert

4,072 posts

169 months

Tuesday 30th June
quotequote all
camel_landy said:
sisu said:
If you look at the body shell of the cutaway version there is no solid floor. So you are sticking a wooden europallet on a folded seat instead of a loadliner in a Van or a Pickup that you can hose out.
I'd suggest LR have done the same as with previous commercials and covered the void with a fairly substantial board, with a non-slip coating and tie-down points.

M
This ^^^

stuckmojo

2,092 posts

143 months

Tuesday 30th June
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DanielSan said:
I'll take mine in green please, 90 spec with the 3 seats so we can take the dog, and add the roof tent option. The perfect mountain bike weekend chariot.
this