Land Rover has begun taking orders for the 90 variant of its new Defender. And, with the five-door 110 - due to reach the first customers in the spring - having experienced "unprecedented demand" since going on sale, there's good reason to expect that the three-door 90 will do just as well.
Available in standard, S, SE, HSE, X and First Edition trim levels, with a commercial model coming soon, the 90 can be specced as frugally or lavishly as buyers desire. Frugal being a relative term in this situation, of course, with the cheapest base spec 200hp, 2.0-litre diesel layout still coming in at £40,290 OTR. Buyers at that price won't be receiving anything comparable to the no-frills 90s of old, though. Automatic headlights and wipers, powerfold mirrors, heated seats, a DAB radio with Apple CarPlay and even puddle lamps are all included as standard kit.
From there the sky's the limit. The remaining engine options of 240hp 2.0-litre diesel, 300hp 2.0-litre petrol and 400hp 4.0-litre petrol (a plug-in hybrid will arrive later) can be mixed and matched largely at will. There are a couple of exceptions, however, with the First Edition - including a white contrast roof, front jump seat and air suspension - only available with the more powerful of the diesels and the X package exclusive to the new inline six petrol motor.
Tick those boxes and what you're left with is a fully-optioned, no holds barred Defender 90 P400X, complete with black contrast roof, walnut veneer, illuminated treadplates, a head-up display and an electronic active diff with torque vectoring by braking. All that performance will come in handy escaping from your bank manager, the X marking the same spot where a £75,475 bill will subsequently land.
That's by far and away the most expensive model, though, with a £20,000 chasm between it and the most costly HSE-specced, 300hp petrol iteration. Regardless of whether buyers opt for it or any of the other options presented to them, they'll receive the same 95 per cent new aluminium monocoque, 900mm wading capability, 50cm of wheel articulation and the ability to shrug off a 20cm kerb impact at 25mph. It's the same tough-as-nails Defender underneath, basically, whether it's coated in LED lights, Ebony Morzine headliners or premium badges or not.
As well as the 170 individual accessories available, each car can also be specced with one of four accessory packs - Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban - to further tailor it toward its intended use. With features including a portable rinsing system, onboard air compressor, engine snorkels and expedition roof racks, there's surely something for outdoorsy, indoorsy and online-posery people of all stripes.
Finbar McFall, Land Rover's Global Product Marketing Director, said of the new 90: "We have experienced unprecedented demand for New Defender 110 and the official introduction of Defender 90 is sure to boost interest. As the family grows to include an efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain and commercial derivatives later this year, we look forward to continuing this success. If our experience with the Defender 110 is anything to go by, we can expect over half of customers to opt for one of the four Accessory Packs, making New Defender the most accessorised and personalised Land Rover we have ever produced."
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