The Land Rover Defender 90, a compact and short wheelbase, was on Tuesday officially launched in the Kenyan market.
The Defender 90 is touted as the most capable and connected Land Rover to date and it traces its roots back to the original Defender Series I model manufactured and launched in 1948.
The launch comes after the Defender 110 was introduced in Kenya in August 2020, with the latest model range comprising the base Defender S, X-Dynamic, First Edition and top-of-the-range Defender X models.
According to Land Rover’s local distributor, Inchcape Kenya, each of the models is sold with a choice of four engine options.
"The Defender 90 is the most capable and connected Land Rover to date. The short wheelbase and minimal overhangs result in excellent off-road geometry, making the car very efficient in navigating off road terrains," said Inchcape Managing Director Hussein Ibrahim.
"The automotive industry in Kenya continues to be of importance to the UK with vehicles ranking second among the Top 5 goods exported from the UK to Kenya, by the end of 2020, making up 11.2% of all UK goods exported to Kenya, at a value of £31.5 million," added UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot.
As an entry point to the range, the Defender S features standard equipment including LED headlights with auto high beam assist, keyless entry, Ebony grained leather with woven textile seat facings, Pivi Pro 10” touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an interactive driver display among others.
Driver assistance features include items such as Terrain Response, 3D surround cameras, emergency braking, lane keep assist, 360- degree parking aid, wade sensing and a driver condition monitor.
The X-Dynamic model bridges the gap between the Defender and the Defender X with a tough exterior look and unique interior fittings to set it apart from the rest of the lineup.
The model features gloss painted Narvik Black exterior door and wheel arch cladding with Silicon Satin skid pans and highly durable Robustec material is found on the seat ribbons and Console Finisher.
Robustec is a protective and hard-wearing material inspired by textiles used in extreme outdoor activities, and is used inside the Defender on areas that are subject to heightened wear. The Defender X-Dynamic is available with a choice of SE and HSE Specification Packs.
On the range-topping X derivative, the gloss black inset contrast hood is standard along with Gloss Black claddings.
To give further differentiation between the X and Core vehicles, the front and rear skid pans and other detailed exterior parts are coated in a Starlight Satin finish while brake calipers are painted orange, the dashboard cross beam is a dark grey powder coat brushed finish and door sill treadplates are illuminated with Defender script.
The X also sees air suspension is fitted as standard along with an electronic active rear differential, configurable Terrain Response 2, a sliding panoramic roof, Matrix LED headlights, 14-way heated and cooled front seats, ClearSight interior rear-view mirror and a head-up display among others with a folding fabric sunroof incorporated in the contrast white roof.
Standard fare includes air suspension, 12-way heated seats, an electrically adjustable steering column ClearSight rear view mirror and 20-inch alloys.
The iconic 4x4 embraces 21st century technologies and introduces Land Rover’s Pivi infotainment, which features an intuitive interface and its own back-up battery for always-on responses.
Advanced software-over-the-air updates also ensure customers benefit from the latest software at all times, wherever they are in the world.
Configurable Terrain Response allows drivers to set-up the vehicle to suit precise off-road conditions and surfaces when adventuring.
The Terrain Response 2 system also includes a new Wade program which optimises all of the vehicle systems accordingly to allow safe passage through water up to 900mm deep.
One can personalise their Defender 90 with four Accessory Packs; The Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban with each giving the Defender a distinct character with a specially selected range of enhancements.
The Explorer Pack includes a raised air intake, a lightweight Expedition roof rack to carry up to 132kg, a 24 litre exterior side-mounted gear carrier, matte black bonnet decal, and wheel arch protection to help conquer the most uncharted African landscapes.
The Adventure Pack, developed to make more of nature’s playground, consists of a portable rinse system for hosing off boots, bikes and wetsuits, a 20 litre Seat Backpack, bright rear scuff plate, front and rear mudflaps, a spare wheel cover, an integrated air compressor ideal for inflating tyres or air mattresses, and the same side-mounted Gear Carrier.
A Country Pack equips the Defender with front and rear Classic mudflaps, a full height loadspace partition to prevent items in the rear loadspace from entering the cabin, wheel arch protection, a bright rear scuff plate and the portable rinse system.
Finally, the Urban Pack comprises bright metal pedals, a bright rear scuff plate, a spare wheel cover, and front undershield protection to make the Defender stand out with style in the concrete jungle.
Jane Marriot. PHOTO/COURTESY
At Kenyan launch the Defender 90 lineup includes four engine options comprising two diesels and two petrols. A 2.0-litre D240 turbodiesel produces 177kW and 430Nm, enabling 0-100km/h in 9 seconds with a top speed of 188km/h, while a 2.0-litre P300 turbopetrol with 221kW and 400Nm achieves 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 191km/h.
More powerful 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder options include a P400 petrol featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology with outputs of 294kW and 550Nm, and a D300 diesel with 221kW and an impressive torque figure of 650Nm. These two models accelerate from 0-100 in 6 and 6.7 seconds respectively, with top speeds of 191km/h for both.